Concern over spate of incidents involving strangers approaching children near Sheffield

There is concern in a neighbourhood near Sheffield where a number of children have been approached by strangers over recent days.

Yesterday, South Yorkshire Police revealed that an investigation was under way into a spate of incidents where a man wearing a balaclava is reported to have approached a teenage girl.

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Aston Academy in Swallownest issues warning to parents over man approaching chil...

The force said that the man is reported to have approached the girl in the Wesley Avenue area of Swallownest on three separate occasions – Monday, November 8; Friday, November 5 and Thursday, November 4.

There has been a spate of incidents involving strangers approaching children in Swallownest, near Sheffield

Each incident happened at around 8am and the man attempted to talk to the girl.

He is believed to be aged his 20s and was dressed from head to toe in black with a balaclava rolled up.

He was riding a green push bike.

Officers want to hear from anyone who witnessed anything suspicious or who has CCTV which may help officers identify the man.

On Monday, November 8, Aston Academy issued an urgent warning to parents about a man reportedly approaching children in a nearby park.

The message said: “We have received a report of an unknown male approaching young people in Alexander Park before the start of the school day.

“This has been reported to the police. Please speak to your child about remaining extra-vigilant and staying safe.”

Last week, the headteacher at nearby Aston Hall Junior and Infant School sent a message to parents detailing an incident of concern.

In his online message, Scott Holmes said: “We have been made aware today of a vehicle that has on at least one occasion pulled up next to school age children walking home from school in the local area with unclear intentions.

“Thankfully the parent of the child in question was nearby and when approaching the car it drove off quickly, however the person in the car had taken off their seatbelt and this is obviously concerning behaviour.

"Please be vigilant in explaining to your children safe behaviour when walking home, especially if they are on their own.

“We will be speaking to the children about this in school.”

Anyone with information should call South Yorkshire Police on 101.