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School’s put parents on alert as white van men target boys
11:50am Tuesday 22nd October 2013 in Echo News
SCHOOLS across Basildon have been warning parents and pupils to be on their guard after two schoolchildren were approached in Laindon by two men in a van.
The two 13-year-old boys told how they were in Aston Road when the white Transit pulled up alongside them.
The youngsters said the men inside asked them to help push the van. They refused, ran off, at about 4pm last Thursday, and raised the alarm.
It comes after the Echo told on Friday how police were probing a separate incident in which a 14-year-old boy was reportedly approached outside the gates of Hilltop Junior School, Wickford, by a man.
The teen said the man asked if he wanted to be taken to see his mother, but the boy said no and raised the alarm.
Police are investigating the two incidents. In the meantime, school bosses, across Basildon, Wickford and Laindon have written to parents asking them to ensure their children remain vigilant.
In a letter to parents, seen by the Echo, Tim Eastwell, headteacher of Lincewood Primary School, in Langdon Hills, said the incident in Laindon, on the back of the four attempted abduction incidents reported in Southend earlier this month, had prompted the school to talk to pupils about stranger danger.
Supt Nick Morris, of Basildon police, said officers were fully supportive of schools making parents and pupils aware of the latest two incidents.
He said: “We support schools improving their pupils’ personal safety awareness and encourage people to report behaviour which makes them feel uncomfortable.
“At this moment in time, there is nothing to suggest any links to those incidents reported in Southend.
“My main advice to parents who are worried is to ensure they know where their children are and where they are going, at all times of the day.
“Parents should also make sure they have a relationship with their children where they are able to talk about any incidents that make them feel uneasy.”
Anyone wanting to report suspicious activity can contact police at Basildon on 101.
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