PARENTS have been put on the alert after a schoolgirl was approached by a man in a car outside a South Shields school.
The incident happened at 9.20am today, outside Harton Primary School in East Avenue.
A small red car pulled up beside a nine-year-old girl, and the driver asked her if she wanted a lift, as she’d be late for school.
However, the quick-thinking youngster ran into school and the car drove off.
The man was white, with brown hair, and was wearing a blue T-shirt.
Police are investigating the incident, and are keen to trace the driver and speak to any witnesses.
Neighbourhood Inspector Dave Hudson said: “We are currently investigating the exact circumstances of this incident and are speaking to people who were in the area at the time.
“This appears to have been isolated incident, and we are doing all we can to trace the vehicle and its driver.
“The girl, although shaken, was not physcially harmed.
“Neighbourhood officers are patrolling around the school and surrounding streets today to offer everyone reassurance.
“I’d ask that any pupils, parents or residents with any concerns to speak to them.
“I’d like to remind people that incidents of children being approached by strangers are very few and far between, and sometimes there’s an innocent explanation.
“However, where we do get reports of this nature, they are always taken very seriously, and we are working in close partnership with the school and local authority in relation to this particular one.
“I’d urge any witnesses or anyone with information to contact us.”
People can contact police on 101, extension 69191.