Police plea for vigilance amid reports of men approaching young children in Bradford

Police have issued a safety warning after four incidents in Bradford where children were approached by strangers.

Tuesday, 5th February 2019, 6:46 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 5:48 pm
St Margaret's Avenue in Bradford. Picture: Google.

The incidents took place between last Wednesday, January 30, and Monday this week in and around the Holme Wood area.

On each occasion, a man spoke with or shouted at a child who then quickly moved away.

The youngsters, who are all aged between nine and 11, are said to have been left feeling “uncomfortable”.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Police are carrying out “extensive enquiries”, with CCTV footage being checked and potential witnesses interviewed.

Det Supt Simon Bottomley said: “I understand that these incidents may have caused concern in the community and we are doing everything we can to catch the persons or person responsible – it is a top priority for us.

“We are currently keeping an open mind as to whether or not they are linked as there are some similarities between all four incidents but some differences too.

“I would always urge children in particular to be vigilant and it can also help if parents and guardians can have a quick chat with their loved ones about not talking to strangers.”

The first incident happened at 9am last Wednesday on St Margaret’s Avenue, when a car pulled up and its driver began talking to a boy who then ran away.

A man who officers want to trace in connection with the incident is described as white, tall and aged between 55 and 60.

He had blond hair, a stubbly moustache and a pointy nose and was wearing a red and black bobble hat, dark glasses and a dark top with a jacket and trousers.

He is said to have an Irish or Scottish accent and was driving a dark-coloured medium-sized vehicle, possibly a 4x4.

The second incident happened at 3pm on the same day on Hyne Avenue, when a boy noticed a dark-coloured vehicle.

The driver of the vehicle shouted at him before carrying on along the road.

A man who officers want to trace in connection with this incident is described as white, about 5ft 7in tall and of medium build with short ginger hair.

He was wearing dark clothing, had part of his face covered and is thought to have an English accent.

The third incident happened on Englefield Crescent at 2.20pm on Sunday.

A girl initially saw a man running towards her at the junction of Felcourt Drive and Muirhead Drive.

She then ran onto Englefield Crescent where a second man shouted at her before she made her way home.

A man who police want to trace in connection with the incident is described as medium build, about 5ft 4in tall and of mixed race.

He was wearing a balaclava, a black hooded jacket, black jeans and black trainers.

Officers investigating the Englefield Crescent incident also want to speak with a man who is described as being about 5ft 2in tall.

He was wearing a balaclava, thin black jacket and black jogging bottoms.

The most recent incident happened on Halesworth Crescent at 7pm yesterday, when a male in a vehicle began speaking to a girl, causing her to run away.

A man who officers want to trace in connection with the incident is described as about 21 years of age with blond or brown hair which was combed over at the front to the left side and had a “swirly pattern” shaven into it.

He was wearing a black Adidas top with the hood half pulled up and was in a car described as black and small, possibly a Chevrolet.

Anyone with information is asked to ring West Yorkshire Police on 101.