WARNINGS have been issued to parents after a Leeds schoolgirl was offered cake by two men who were armed with a knife and then tried to grab her.
Leeds City Council’s children’s services department has sent a memo to schools in the north west of the city making them aware of the incident in Horsforth on Tuesday.
The 13-year-old Horsforth School pupil, who escaped, was the second of three schoolgirls approached in separate suspicious incidents in north Leeds.
Police are not linking the cases – and have moved to reassure parents they do not believe the youngsters involved were victims of attempted abductions.
The Yorkshire Evening Post understands text message alerts have been sent to parents after a ‘hotline message’ was circulated by the children’s services department warning schools about the incident involving the 13-year-old.
That memo, seen by the YEP, said: “Two males approached a female pupil and offered her cake. When she refused they attempted to grab her by the head scarf.
“The girl noticed that one of the males had a knife. The girl managed to run away from the men.”
About half-an-hour later police received a report of an 11-year-old girl being approached by a lone man in a white van in Creskeld Lane, Bramhope.
She ran off after he spoke to her.
Then, at 5.14pm officers received a report of an incident the previous day in which a 14-year-old girl said she was followed by a large white van in Tinshill Road, Haigh Wood Road and Woodnook Drive in Horsforth. She ran off when the van, containing two men, pulled up near her.
Det Insp Andy Welbourn said: “We are investigating these incidents on the basis of what has been reported but there is nothing at this stage to suggest any link between them.
“There is also nothing to suggest that these were attempted abductions and we are keeping an open mind as to the nature of these incidents.
“We do recognise that the circumstances have been distressing for the children involved and their families and we would like to reassure them and the wider community that we are thoroughly investigating each incident in an effort to identify and trace those involved.”
The council said it was “inappropriate” to comment while the police were investigating.