Police Hunt Driver Who Followed Schoolgirls

Police in Beaminster are appealing for witnesses and anyone with information to come forward after two schoolgirls were approached by a man in suspicious circumstances on two separate occasions in the town.

At around 4pm on Tuesday, 30 November 2010, a 10-year-old schoolgirl was followed by a man in a white van in the Clay Lane area of Beaminster.

The man has brown hair around the sides and is bald on top, has facial hair around the jaw line and blue eyes with a pierced left eye brow. He was wearing a blue jumper.

Inspector Caroline Naughton, Bridport Section Commander, said:

“The driver kept stopping and starting the van and sounding the horn as he followed. The white van is a transit with clear windows to the rear and has a well used appearance.

“The driver asked the girl to get into the van but she refused and ran off.”

The second incident happened at around 10.30am on Wednesday, 1 December 2010, along Woodswater Lane in Beaminster when a 16-year-old girl was approached by a white van and offered a lift by the driver.

When the girl refused the man opened the door but then drove off when another man walked down the road.

It is not known whether both incidents are linked, however police are keeping an open mind.

Inspector Caroline Naughton continued:

“For the second incident the only description we have that the man is white.

“I am concerned as to why the two schoolgirls were approached.

“I would like to hear from anyone who witnessed these incidents and anyone who has any information about who may be responsible.

“I would also like to reiterate the advice that I’d give to children all year round – never take up any offers to enter a vehicle from anyone you are not familiar with.

“Please tell your parents or a friend what has happened to ensure that any suspicious incidents are passed on to the police straight away.

“I would like to reassure local families that this type of incident is rare. However, it is very important that the local community is vigilant in response to these incidents.”

Witnesses and anyone with information should call Dorset Police in confidence on 01305 222 222 or the free and anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111 where mobile phone tariffs may apply.