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‘It’s very worrying’ - parents’ fears after boy approached by van driver on way to school

PUBLISHED: 07:38 07 December 2018

A Pakefield High pupil was approached by a van driver as he made his way to school. Photo: James Carr.

A Pakefield High pupil was approached by a van driver as he made his way to school. Photo: James Carr.

Archant

Concerned parents have spoken of their fears after a boy was approached by a van driver as he made his way to school.

Susan Chapman. Photo: James Carr.Susan Chapman. Photo: James Carr.

At around 7.50am on Monday, December 3, a man approached a Pakefield High School pupil and asked if he would like to buy a new bike from the back of his van in London Road, Pakefield, near Lowestoft.

The boy walked away but the incident has sparked concerns among the community after the school issued a warning to parents. Pakefield High School headteacher, Anthony Walker, said: “Having taken police advice, we took the precautionary measures of telling our students about the incident and how to keep themselves safe, as well as informing parents to advise children not to engage with strangers.”

Susan Chapman lives nearby to where the attempted accosting took place and her son is a pupil at Pakefield High.

She said: “It’s quite frightening really, my son is 14 and quite sensible but that doesn’t stop you being concerned.

A Pakefield High pupil was approached by a van driver as he made his way to school. Photo: James Carr.A Pakefield High pupil was approached by a van driver as he made his way to school. Photo: James Carr.

“When they are with others it provides a bit of protection, but it’s concerning for those walking alone.

“I still think Pakefield is a safe area but maybe my take on it isn’t right.”

Ms Chapman added: “I think it gives parents the opportunity to reiterate to take extra care, it doesn’t matter where you are.”

Grandfather Jerry Thompson said he was angered upon hearing reports of the incident.

Jerry Thompson. Photo: James Carr.Jerry Thompson. Photo: James Carr.

He said: “It make me really annoyed, it is happening too often around here and they just get away with it.

“It’s not nice and it’s not Pakefield.

“It’s very worrying - there’s two schools on this road.”

Police said the man who approached the boy was driving either a white or grey van and is described as white, aged in his 60s, between 5ft 10in and 6ft.

He is of a medium build with grey hair and was wearing a dark coloured shirt, jeans and was clean shaven.

Anyone who witnessed the incident or saw any suspicious behaviour prior to the incident should contact Suffolk police on 101, quoting crime reference 37/69900/18

Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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