A CHILD predator has been targeting pupils outside schools in East Sussex.

On two separate occasions the man drove up to children as they went home from school and said they needed to get in the car because the child’s parents had been in an accident.

Both times the children refused but the man, driving a silver hatchback, tried again to persuade the children. After being unsuccessful for a second time he then drove off.

Police spent a morning vigil outside Helenswood School in The Ridge, Hastings, after one of its pupils was targeted.

The school put on extra staff in the morning and afternoon to monitor the collection of students.

Head teacher Lucy Monk asked parents to make sure their children were aware of stranger danger.

Details have just been revealed about the first incident which happened at 4.20pm on January 23 as a boy was walking home along Lower Park Road in Hastings.

The boy refused and ran home to tell his parents and the police.

The second incident happened the following day at 3.30pm at Helenswood Lower School in Hastings.

Police action

Inspector Gareth Evans from the Hastings Neighbourhood Police Team, said: “I would like to reassure all parents and children that we are doing everything possible to investigate these reports thoroughly.

“I do not want to alarm people as at this stage we are still looking to confirm if any offences have been committed. I can state that no children have been reported as missing.

“We are working in partnership with the schools and will continue to do so.

“I commend the boy’s actions who was stopped in Lower Park Road. He behaved responsibly by telling his parents and police without delay.

“If anyone has any information which may be useful to police then I would urge them to contact us. If you believe something suspicious is happening please do remember to try and get the registration number and a description of the driver as this will aid us with our enquiries.”

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