SCHOOLGIRLS walking in Old Town have been being targeted by a man trying to lure them into his white van.

Four girls in Year 7 were walking down Westlecot Road at 3.45pm on Monday when they were approached by the man.

He asked the group if they wanted a taxi home before driving off when they declined.

And a similar case was reported to the police yesterday morning involving a man driving a white van along Newport Street and calling out to girls on their way to school.

Commonweal School sent a letter to all parents telling them of the reports.

One of the victims’ mums told the Adver: “The van was driving up and down Springfield and Westlecot road.

“My daughter was a bit scared and did not know how to react. She called me straight away and I picked them all up.

“When I arrived, she was a bit shaken.

“It is quite a relief that they were walking as a group, but it’s worrying that it happened in our area.”

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The man is described as English with brown hair and the girls said the registration number started BN68.

Police said they have put on extra patrols in the area at home time to reassure the children and their parents and the girls’ school is organising an assembly to alert pupils to the situation.

Sgt David Tippetts, from Swindon South Community Policing Team, said: “It’s important to stress that none of the girls were approached by this man as he has remained in his vehicle throughout.

"However, his behaviour was inappropriate and has caused the girls to feel alarmed and concerned.

“They have all done exactly the right thing and ignored the man, left the area and told either a parent or a member of staff at their school."

The mum added: “The school and the police have been very helpful and proactive. They reassured my daughter as she was a bit nervous to talk to the police.

“I would recommend parents to make sure that their children don’t walk alone.”

After she posted on social media others came forward to highlight other incidents in Middleaze, Eldene and Clifton Street.

One said: “I hope they are okay. I had the same with my daughter last week.”

Police are looking at CCTV cameras in a bid to identify the driver. They are asking witnesses to report any suspicious behaviour to 101.

Young people who fear they are in danger are urged to call emergency services on 999.