Extra police patrols following abduction fears

Preston Road in Chorley outside Chorley and South Ribble Hospital
Preston Road in Chorley outside Chorley and South Ribble Hospital

POLICE are reassuring parents in Chorley and Leyland that they have a dedicated team of officers investigating reports of attempted child abductions in the area.

Officers are now investigating in total, three reports of suspicious activity, one on Preston Road in Chorley, one in Beaconsfield Terrace in Chorley and one near to Cloverfield in Clayton le Woods where schoolchildren, boys and girls, have apparently been approached by men in cars and have either been offered a lift or have been asked for directions.

Fortunately, on each of the occasions the children have come to no harm, but were left shaken and upset by their experience.

A number of other reports have been received from the public which have been discounted as they gave no grounds for concern and have been found to be not connected with the investigation.

In particular, an incident that was reported to have taken place on Stanifield Lane in Leyland has been investigated and nothing untoward was found to have taken place.

Inspector Dave Robinson from Chorley Police said: “Understandably the public are going to be alarmed and concerned by these reports and further by rumours circulating on social media sites and we are doing our best to reassure our local communities that we are doing all we can.

“Our priority at the moment is to establish the exact circumstances around each of the reports that have been made to us so far.

“I must stress that we are taking all reports made to us extremely seriously and have a dedicated team of officers following up every allegation that is made to us.

“However, in order for us to be able to put the most resources into investigating and getting to the bottom of these allegations, it is really important that people report to us first hand instances of concerning suspicious behaviour and to try and avoid repeating gossip and third hand information.”

“I would reassure the public that we have a team of officers looking into this matter and patrols have been stepped up. Our neighbourhood policing teams are also out in force across Chorley, Leyland and the surrounding areas and should anyone have any concerns then I would urge them to speak to their local officers.

“Neighbourhood Policing Officers will continue to maintain strong links with schools to discuss any developments and where appropriate further information will be released via the appropriate channels. People need to be wary of misinformation which is often provided by channels other than the schools or Police.

“Parents are advised to discuss any concerns they or their children have with the school and take sensible precautions in relation to ensuring the safety of their children travelling to and from school.”

If you wish to discuss any issues with your local Neighbourhood Policing Team please make contact with them via 01257 246225 or chorley.npt@lancashire.pnn.police.uk