Vigilante fears after bids to lure children

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Fears vigilante gangs could take the law into their own hands are growing after a fifth attempt in the Deepings to lure young people into cars.

Police have stepped up patrols in the area, but senior youth worker Paul Hanson says there was another incident the same day as one in Deeping St James and parents are not happy.

The latest reported incident took place at around 7pm last Tuesday night.

Two men in a white van asked a 17-year-old girl to get into the vehicle in Thackers Way. The girl refused and left the area.

However, it is believed there was another incident earlier that day involving two girls who ran to Deepings Youth Centre after a man in a white van waited for them in Linchfield Road and followed them into Crowson Way.

Mr Hanson said: “They did the right thing coming to us and we called the police straight away.

“We are now warning children who attend our youth club or after school clubs to stay safe in big gangs or get their parents to give them a lift.

“Our biggest concern is for the 11 to 13-year-olds because they are more likely to panic.

“These attempts to lure children into cars are a parent’s worse nightmare.

“At this stage we don’t know whether the men responsible just like scaring girls or have something more sinister in mind.

“We just hope the police catch them.

“The word on the street is if they don’t residents will form vigilante gangs and go looking for them themselves. That is the concern.”

Reports of approaches made to young people have not been isolated to the Deepings.

Last month an 11-year-old girl was walking along Mill Drove in Bourne when a man in a black car began following her in North Street.

He sped off when a passer-by noticed what was happening and went over to see if the girl was OK.

Officers are urging parents not to panic, but to be vigilant and to give their children the usual common sense stranger danger advice.

Investigations are ongoing and anyone with any information can call Insp Mike Burnett on 101.




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