POLICE say an incident in which three girls were approached by men in a car is not believed to be linked to a similar case in Worcester.

Three girls, one as young as eight, were reportedly approached by men in a vehicle, leaving them terrified, near the Co-op in Barker Street, Worcester on Monday night.

The schoolgirls were said to have run into the shop to get away from the men in the car.

A witness to the scene posted this warning on her Facebook page: “Three young girls (one aged 8) have just been followed and told to get in a car by men.

“They are safe, they ran in the Co-op and the police have taken them home and they have the car on CCTV. Just be vigilant of what your kids are doing and who they are with because it only takes a split second for them to be grabbed and taken.”

A spokesman for West Mercia Police said officers responded to the alert.

“It was reported to us and officers attended and searched the area, we have also viewed the relevant CCTV footage," the spokesman said.

"The girls who reported this have been visited and reassured.

“We have increased patrols of our safer neighbourhood teams in the area.

“It is not believed to be linked to a previous incident in Rainbow Hill at this time.”

Ellesse Robinson, 15, said she was approached by four men in a car who asked her to get inside, in Astwood Road in Rainbow Hill on Sunday evening.

Detective Inspector Ed Slough said: “We do not want to cause unnecessary alarm, and we are investigating these reports. In the meantime, we urge parents and carers to make sure their children are aware of personal safety, especially if they are approached by a stranger or a vehicle that is not known to them.

"I would like to reassure people that incidents such as this are rare, but we have an increased number of officers in the area who can answer any questions or address any concerns they may have. We are investigating the reports that have been made, and we want to encourage the community to be observant and report any suspicious activities to us as quickly as possible.”