Sussex Girl Stopped On Way To School

Police are aware of two reports of children reporting suspicious behaviour while walking to school in Shoreham.

Two 10-year-olds reported a man walking behind them while on their way to school on Tuesday March 19 at around 8.30am. They reported the man was walking at a distance behind them between the parade of shops on Upper Shoreham Road and the Tesco Express. He did not attempt to speak or engage with them in anyway.

The second report was made to police on Wednesday March 20 at around 8.30am when a girl of Year 4 age was making her way to school on a scooter. She said a man in a small silver car pulled up next to her and asked if she would like a lift to school. She said no, he drove off and she continued to school and reported it to her teacher. The girl said she was in the Ferry Road, Old Fort Road, Shingle Road or Harbour Road area of Shoreham Beach at the time, but cannot remember exactly where.

Sergeant Jo Webb, of Adur and Worthing Neighbourhood Policing Team, said:

"In the first report on Tuesday, the man did not engage with the children at all and was a distance behind them. The children had recently received a lesson on personal safety at school and they became concerned.

"In the second report on Wednesday, it is not known what the driver's intentions were and there is nothing to suggest the driver was attempting anything suspicious.

"All the children did the right thing in reporting their concerns. We would ask children and parents not to be alarmed by these reports. No offences have been identified and the two reports are not being linked. Police will look at every report of this nature in detail and investigate those that are considered suspicious.

"All parents should encourage their children to follow personal safety advice: Never talk to or go with a stranger, even if the person tells your child that you have given your permission, and never accept gifts or sweets from a stranger.

"If they are approached tell them to shout 'No!' as loud as they can and go back into their house or school, or another safe place like a busy shop, and tell a trusted adult what has happened. They should never go off on their own without telling their parents or a trusted adult."