Parents across Gloucestershire are being urged to remain calm but vigilant after a series of reports of children being approached by strangers in cars.
The latest report involved an 11-year-old pupil at Cleeve School who claims he was approached by three men in a dark vehicle along Hayfield Way at about 3.45pm on Monday.
The incident follows reports that an 11-year-old boy from Gotherington School was asked to get into a silver car in Malleson Road, at around 3.30pm last Thursday.
Chief Inspector Steve Porter, of Tewkesbury Local Policing Area, said: “There have been several reports of suspicious behaviour across the county but we would just urge everyone to remain calm and vigilant.
“It is important to stress that safety messages have been circulated by schools and parents across social media, in some cases fuelling further speculation, rumours and reports, albeit made with the right intentions. We don't have any evidence of criminal intent in these cases and no one has been harmed.”
The reports have been shared widely on social media sites across Gloucestershire.
Here we have put together a brief guide with useful links on how to ensure your children stay safe:
Useful links about stranger danger:
Never...... go with a stranger
Never...... take things from a stranger
Never...... get in a car with a stranger
Never...... go off on your own.
Always play with other children
It's safer and more fun to be with friends - but make sure you tell your parents or carer where you are.
YELL: If someone scares you, or tries to touch you in ways that make you feel uncomfortable - tell them 'No' or 'Stop'
RUN: Get home as quick as you can. If you can't get home, go somewhere you know will be safe, like your school or a police station
TELL: Tell your parent or carer or someone you can trust right away
Before you go out, remember the three W's:
Always tell your parents WHERE you are going,
WHO you are going with
and WHEN you will be home.
Make sure you know your home address and telephone number off by heart.
Give your parents a phone number where you can be contacted.
If anyone is making you feel unhappy, tell an adult you know and trust.
Say "NO" in a very loud voice if someone wants to touch you in a way that makes you feel unhappy.
Shout loudly and try to get away if someone you don't like tries to make you go with them or tries to make you do things you don't like.
Never talk to strangers and never take gifts from them, no matter how friendly they seem.
If you get lost in a public place, be careful about who you ask for help. Look for a police officer, or a shop assistant, or someone with a young child.
As it gets dark earlier in the winter, make sure you're wearing bright clothing, preferably with reflective or fluorescent strips, so you can be seen better on the roads, and be extra eagle-eyed when you're crossing roads.