Patrols near schools in Lostock Hall and Penwortham after ‘men’ reported

REASSURED: Insp Barff-Lewis

REASSURED: Insp Barff-Lewis

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Police are urging parents and teachers to be vigilant after receiving complaints about men loitering near a primary school in Lostock Hall.

Undercover police patrols have been carried out around primary schools in Lostock Hall and Penwortham but today, senior officers stressed no offences had been committed.

Insp Alison Barff-Lewis, of Leyland Police, said the extra plain clothes patrols had been put in place to reassure parents and staff.

It follows a call made by worried staff at Our Lady and St Gerard’s primary school in Lostock Hall, on January 19, in which it was alleged a man in a flat cap and another man in a navy bobble hat were seen near the school yard.

Insp Barff-Lewis said: “It was obviously raising suspicions of staff so they contacted the police.

“In response to the concerns, we asked the headteacher to send a note out to other schools to make sure we got the right message to the head staff.”

She added: “We would always ask anybody to be vigilant and to report concerns, but no offences have been committed.”

A letter from staff at Broad Oak Primary School on Pope Lane, Penwortham, warned parents two men in their 50s, wearing caps, had been seen walking past the fence and pointing at children in the yard.

In a separate incident, it says, a younger man was seen by the gates and reportedly walked off when asked who he was, and was later seen near another gate.

The letter, which highlights the police patrols, also mentioned a red transit van seen in the same area, but police say they cannot connect it to the reports of suspicious men.

In October, schoolgirls in Leyland were put on alert after a cyclist was seen taking photos as they turned up for class.

Pupils at Worden Sports College were alerted after a “chubby” man in his 40s or 50s was spotted acting suspiciously there.

The reports are not thought to be linked.

Anyone with concerns is asked to call 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.