Worry over suspicious photographer at school

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Schoolgirls in Leyland have been put on alert after a cyclist was seen taking photos as they turned up for class.

Pupils at Worden Sports College have been warned not to walk to or from school alone, after a man was spotted acting suspiciously on three mornings and one afternoon.

Officers said a ‘chubby’ man, aged between 40 and 50 with grey hair, wearing a white t-shirt, grey jogging bottoms, and riding a white mountain bike, was seen around the school in Westfield Drive, between 8.15am and 8.30am on Thursday and Friday last week and also yesterday morning.

Yesterday afternoon a teacher reported a man acting suspiciously at leaving time, this time described as being late 20s or early 30s, with a gaunt appearance and wearing a padded jacket.

PC Dave Gaskill said: “The man always seems to be in the same place - on the junction of Leadale Road and Leyland Lane. Last Thursday and Friday he was taking photos on his black Samsung phone, but yesterday he was just in the area.

“Police in plain clothes have been sent out to try and identify the man, and will be sent again for the remainder of the week.”

Jennifer Beckett’s 14-year-old daughter Cerys Lewis and a friend were followed and photographed on Thursday.

Jennifer said: “It’s very worrying, I felt sick and so did Cerys. It’s added stress that we don’t need.”

Police have advised children to keep to main roads and not to use ginnels. The school has also issued advice to pupils.

Headmaster Chris Catherall said: “We have informed the pupils of what is happening and given them a description of the man involved.

“They have been advised not to walk to or from school alone and if they see this man to report it to a trusted adult who can then contact the police.”

Call the police on 101 or Leyland Neighbourhood Policing Team on 01772 415855.