Arrest made after white van 'approached children' on three separate occasions near South Shields school

Police have arrested a man following reports of a white van approaching school kids in South Tyneside.

Friday, 28th September 2018, 11:06 am
Updated Friday, 28th September 2018, 12:57 pm
Pupils at Mortimer Community College have been urged to keep safe.

Staff at Mortimer Community College in South Shields issued a warning to parents yesterday, after the vehicle reportedly approached pupils three times between Monday and Wednesday.

All of the incidents occurred in the Chichester area and both girls and boys were targeted.

A text message was sent out to parents urging them to speak to their children about staying safe when travelling to and from the Reading Road school, while police officers patrolled the area.

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Northumbia Police have now revealed a 64-year-old mas has been arrested in connection with the incidents.

A police spokesperson said: “A 64-year-old man was arrested yesterday following reports of a van approaching young people in South Shields. He has since been released under investigation.

“Enquiries are ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact police."

Paul Walsh, the school’s assistant headteacher, said all of the students have been advised on how to keep safe and other schools in the area had been notified.

He said: “When we realised this wasn’t just a one off incident a text message was sent out to parents.

"Pupils have also been advised on how to stay safe and to keep away from quiet back lanes.

"Our main priority is to keep our students safe.”

A mum of a student in Year 7 said: "There were a lot of police cars around the school yesterday morning, which I thought was unusual when I dropped my son off.

"I hadn't checked my phone until much later in the day then I read the text, so it made sense.

"It's good to know both the school and police are taking the matter seriously."

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 quoting log 780 26/09/18.”