KIDS have been warned to stay vigilant after children as young as nine were approached in Bradford in less than a week.
West Yorkshire Police are now pouring over CCTV as they investigate the string of concerning incidents involving masked men yelling from their cars or trying to talk to kids.
Officers believe children aged between nine and 11 were approached by a male between January 30 and February 4 in the Holme Wood area of the city.
Cops said they were keeping an “open mind” as to whether the incidents were linked.
The first approach unfolded about 9am on January 30 when a driver stopped near a boy on St Margaret’s Avenue.
But when the driver tried to speak to the boy, the child ran away.
Police believe the man had blonde hair, a stubbly moustache and a pointy nose and was wearing a red and black bobble hat, dark glasses and a dark top with a jacket and trousers.
He spoke with an Irish or Scottish accent.
The second incident occurred on the same day about 3pm.
A driver of a dark coloured car shouted at him on Hyne Avenue before driving off – with police now searching for the man described as wearing dark coloured clothing, short ginger hair and as having an English accent.
The third incident happened on February 3, about 2.20pm.
We are doing everything we can to catch the persons or person responsible – it is a top priority for us
Detective Superintendent Simon Bottomley
A girl said she saw a man, described as being of mixed race and wearing a balaclava, running towards her.
The girl then ran off onto Englefield Crescent where a second man, who was also wearing a balaclava, yelled at her.
Police said the most recent incident happened on Monday night about 7pm when a car, possibly a Chevrolet, sped up alongside a young girl on Halesworth Crescent.
The man tried to speak to the schoolgirl but she ran away.
He is described as having hair shaven into a swirled pattern, and was wearing a black Adidas top.
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Detective Superintendent Simon Bottomley of Bradford Police, said: “I understand that these incidents may have caused concern in the community and we are doing everything we can to catch the persons or person responsible – it is a top priority for us. We are currently keeping an open mind as to whether or not they are linked as there are some similarities between all four incidents but some differences too.
“I would always urge children in particular to be vigilant and it can also help if parents / guardians can have a quick chat with their loved ones about not talking to strangers. In each incident the children felt uncomfortable and moved away.
I would also urge anyone who may have information about any of the incidents to call police on 101. If you see anything suspicious or suspect an ongoing crime than call 999 immediately.”
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