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DON'T LET YOUR KIDS GO TO SCHOOL ALONE; Police warning after flashers target pupils.

Byline: BEN TURNER

A POLICE chief has urged parents to make sure their children do not walk to school alone, after pupils were targeted by flashers.

But Wirral parents were also told to ignore online and school gate gossip over possible abductions, with officers stressing the rumours were untrue.

Chief Inspector Phil Davies has written to teachers and parents in Wirral calling for vigilance, following what he termed a number of "suspicious incidents" in the east of the borough this month.

A flasher exposed himself to a 15-year-old and her mum as they walked along Ingleborough Road, Rock Ferry, around 3pm on January 2. As they approached the junction of Malvern Grove, they realised the man, in his 50s or 60s, had lowered his trousers and was indecently exposing himself to them.

He walked off down Malvern Grove and police believe the man, described as having greying hair, may have left in a black or dark-coloured Ford estate car with distinctive silver roof bars. Eight days later, a 15-year-old girl was confronted by a flasher in his 20s, who exposed himself after asking his victim the time as she walked home from school in Bidston Village.

Police have praised the teenager for walking away and immediately telling her parents.

Ch Insp Davies said "all incidents like this are being treated extremely seriously" and officers who had stepped up patrols had made four arrests in connection with the incidents.

Reminding parents that children should not talk to strangers, he said: "Our advice is always that young children are accompanied to and from school by a parent or adult carer, and that older children always walk in a group. Children of all ages are encouraged to always report any suspicious behaviour to a parent or teacher, who can then call the police."

On bogus claims of abductions, he warned that "misinformation can spread", adding: "I am aware there have been various rumours circulating between schools and also on the internet about attempted or actual abductions of schoolchildren.

"I can assure you no confirmed reports have been received by the police and none of the above incidents I refer to have occurred at schools."

? Anyone with information should call Merseyside police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jan 21, 2012
Words:376
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