Police appeal after schoolgirls asked to get into stranger's van in Burnley

Officers are appealing for information following an incident in Burnley in which a man asked two schoolgirls to get into a vehicle with him.

Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 2:06 pm

The incident happened at around 3-10pm yesterday as the two girls – aged 15 and 16 – were standing at the junction of Church Street, St James Street and Hall Street in the town centre.

A man in a white Renault panel van pulled up alongside them and asked the girls to get in, before claiming to be a taxi driver. Thankfully the girls refused and the van driver left the scene.

The van driver is described as Asian, aged in his 40s, with a beard/stubble and wearing a blue, short-sleeved top.

Police are appealing for witnesses

Police are now asking anybody who witnessed the incident, thinks they saw the man or the van in the area, or has any other information to get in touch with us straight away.

Det. Chief Insp. Tim Brown, of Burnley Police, said: “We are taking these reports extremely seriously and are now asking anybody with information about what happened to get in touch with us.

“Maybe you saw all or part of the incident, have dashcam footage showing the van in the area at the time, or maybe you think you know who is responsible. Whatever information you have, please contact us straight away.

“We appreciate this incident will have caused worry in the local community and we want to reassure you we are working extremely hard to get to establish what happened. In the meantime we have stepped up patrols in the area and anybody with concerns is welcome to speak to an officer.

"We would also urge people to remain vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour to us straight away.

“Finally, we know how rumours can spread on social media, so we would also ask people to only get their information from police channels, and to refrain from speculating further on what might have happened until the full circumstances have been established.”

Anybody with information is asked to get in touch on 101, quoting log 964 of July 20th. Alternatively independent charity Crimestoppers can be reached on 0800 555 111 or at crimestoppers-uk.org.