Bogus police officer tries to lure schoolgirl into van in Preston

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Police have urged schoolchildren to be vigilant after a bogus police officer tried to lure a teenager into his van.

The youngster was approached in New Longton, near Preston, as she walked home from All Hallows Catholic Secondary School, Penwortham.

The driver showed her a laminated card and claimed to be a police officer.

She declined his offer of a lift and walked off.

Today Lancashire police urged youngsters and their parents to be vigilant.

The girl’s father said: “The vehicle pulled up and he said ‘I’m a police officer – let me give you a lift home.’

“He showed her a card of some sort.

“She was quite shaken up with this. She is a sensible girl and knows not to get into a car with a stranger.

“The school has been informed – everyone needs to be careful”.

Lancashire police said the incident happened at around 5.30pm on Wednesday.

A man pulled up in a vehicle and offered her a lift.

He produced a laminated card and said he worked at Police HQ.

She refused to get into the vehicle.

The suspect is described as white and in his late 40s and driving a van.

A Lancashire police spokesman said: “We would ask people to be vigilant but not alarmed. Report any suspicious activity to us.

“We would remind youngsters that they should never get into any vehicle with anyone they don’t know.”

A spokesman for the school said it had informed parents of the incident and had reminded everyone to be vigilant, particuarly on the dark winter nights.