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Warning after man approaches schoolchildren

Dorset Police are warning parents and children to remain vigilant following two suspicious incidents involving a man approaching schoolchildren in Poole and Wimborne.

The first incident happened at around 3.30pm on Tuesday 3 November 2015 on Sopers Lane, Poole, close to Parkstone Grammar School. A man on a bicycle approached a 12-year-old girl and asked her to follow him. The girl then waved at passing motorists and the man then cycled off toward Burger King on Waterloo Road.

The second incident occurred today, Thursday 5 November 2015, at around 8.10am along Greenclose Lane, Wimborne. A man approached an 11-year-old girl, asked her if she was crossing the road, to which she replied no. He then took hold of her wrist, but she managed to elbow him and run off toward St Michael's Middle School.

Neither girl was physically injured in the incidents.

Officers are not ruling out the possibility that the two incidents are linked, as both girls provided similar descriptions of the offender.

In the first incident the offender is described as a white man, aged in his 50s, with a bald head. He was wearing a black tracksuit and an earring in one ear. In the second incident the offender is described as aged in his 50s or 60s, bald and was wearing a white tracksuit.

Neighbourhood Inspector Dave Kewley, of Wimborne police, said: “We would like to reassure the public that reports of these incidents are extremely rare, however it is very important that parents and children remain vigilant and report any suspicious incidents to police.

“I would appeal to the public if they witnessed any of the incidents to please contact police, in confidence, on 101.

“We take incidents like these very seriously and we continue to actively investigate the reports.”

Local officers will be offering a visible presence after school today and before and after school tomorrow in Wimborne and in the Parkstone Grammar area.

Witnesses and anyone with information should call Dorset Police in confidence on 101, quoting incident number 5:50. Alternatively, call the free and anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111 where mobile phone tariffs may apply.

Issued: 5 November 2015