POLICE say they have increased patrols in the Northwich area after a man tried to lure a schoolgirl into his van.

At around 8.30am on Tuesday, June 18, a 13-year-old Weaverham High School pupil was walking to school along the A49, Warrington Road, when a white VW Caddy with a black bonnet, pulled up at the side of the road.

The man inside the van asked the girl if she wanted to get in. The teenager ignored the man and fled on foot. The man then drove off towards Tarporley.

A text message was swiftly sent to parents by Weaverham High School.

The message read: “Our pupil acted quickly and appropriately and as a result the man drove away. The pupil has been supported in school and has given a statement to the police.

“Please can you talk to your child about the dangers associated with talking to strangers and to tell a trusted adult if they are approached.”

The driver is described as a man, 35 to 40 years old, of skinny build with a Liverpool accent.

Insp Andrew Smith, of Northwich Local Policing Unit, has reassured parents in the area that police patrols have been increased following this incident.

Insp Smith said: “At this stage it appears to be an isolated incident. Enquiries are ongoing to establish the full circumstances of what happened and anyone with any information about the incident is asked to get in touch.

“I would like to reassure the public that at no point was there any physical contact between the man, who remained in the van throughout, and the girl.

“Understandably, the incident is likely to cause concern in the local community and we have increased patrols in the area to provide reassurance. If anyone has any concerns they should speak to an officer.

“I also want to urge people to be vigilant and to report any suspicious activity.”

Anyone with any information which may assist the ongoing investigation is asked to contact Cheshire Constabulary on 101, quoting IML 431262, give the details via https://cheshire.police.uk/contact/general-enquiries or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.