Parents at a Bradford primary school are on stranger-alert for the second time in just four months after an incident involving a pupil and a man at the school gates.
In October, police had arrested and bailed a 61-year-old man for allegedly grabbing a three-year-old girl’s wrist yards from the same school as she walked with her mother.
That time the suspect was also alleged to have spoken inappropriately to the girl before fleeing. Police had stressed it was an isolated incident and urged parents not to worry.
After yesterday;s report, the school sent out cautionary texts to parents urging them to be careful and vigilant when dropping their youngsters off.
In the latest scare, the boy believed to have been dropped off just before the start of school in his mother’s car, told teachers he had been worried by a man he had never seen at the gates before.
He described the man as Asian, in his 30s and balding. Teachers checked CCTV and told police straight away who quickly searched the area.
Yesterday head teacher Noreen Dunn said the school, which has more than 400 pupils, had taken the boy’s worry seriously.
She said: “The child did absolutely the right thing. He was worried and told us straight away and we told the police and our parents. We don't want to cause panic or unnecessary alarm but it's better for parents to be informed. We take the safety of our children extremely seriously.
“We don't know anything actually happened but it was enough to worry the boy so that was enough to worry us. We erred on the side of caution. It's not just the October incident, it's what you hear from other schools or nationally on media.”
West Yorkshire Police confirmed they were investigating an incident involving a child. Neighbourhood policing team officers would be patrolling the area at start and end of school.
One concerned parent, who contacted the Telegraph & Argus but did not want to be named, was worried about security at the school and a lack of visible teacher presence as children arrive for school. But Mrs Dunn said: “The police have commented on our good security. We do meet the children at the door and often I'm out and so is my deputy trying to keep a check on parked cars outside the gates but it is the parents' responsibility to bring them to school safely.”