POLICE have released a statement regarding reports of men in cars approaching school girls in Worcester - saying they don't believe the incidents are linked.

Detective Ed Slough, CID lead investigator and Inspector Dave Troth safer neighbourhood lead said: “We are aware of heightened concerns surrounding the reporting on social media and local news reports of a group of men in a silver/grey saloon vehicle approaching people in the Arboretum area of Worcester. Some incidents are reported to have happened whilst children have been walking home from school or in the early evening; or a vehicle has appeared to be driving slowly past schools or children.

“We want to help allay some of the concerns in the community, keep you up to date with our ongoing investigation and encourage you to make sure your children are aware of personal safety, especially if they are approached by a stranger or a vehicle that is not known to them. We would like to reassure people that incidents such as this are rare, and we have an increased number of our safer neighbourhood officers in the area who can answer any questions or address any concerns you may have.

“In regards to our investigation, we have seen a recent increase in reports as well as commentary on media and social media. I want to assure you that we are looking into all individual reports made to us, and would like to update you that, at this time, we don’t believe all of the reports are linked and we are working to establish the nature and type of offences.

“We are treating each report separately, visiting and speaking with those that have reported incidents and viewing any CCTV in the area that they have been approached or had vehicles slow near them and have shown concern. We want to encourage the community to continue to be observant and report any suspicious activities to us as quickly as possible.

“We are working with local schools to ensure updates are provided to the community in a timely manner. For the most up to date information please visit westmercia.police.uk or our social media channels.

“If you have seen anything suspicious in your area please report online at WestMercia.Police.UK or by calling police on 101. You can also provide information anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Always dial 999 in an emergency, if a crime is in progress or you feel yourself or anyone else is at risk.

“I hope this helps provides you with some reassurance. We will continue to work with the school and partners to address any concerns.”