Police have asked schools to send out stranger danger warnings after two abduction attempts were reported in the same week.
Parents took to Facebook to express their concerns after several schools sent out warnings saying that the police had asked them to remind parents to make sure their children are travelling safely to school.
But the lack of explanation for what prompted the warning to be issued has led to some confusion among those receiving them.
The police have now confirmed that they are investigating three incidents, two of which involved schoolchildren and the other a 19-year-old.
The first incident occurred on Tuesday when a 16-year-old male school pupil was stood with a female friend at a bus stop outside Oakfield High School Long Lane, Hindley.
He was approached by a male in a car and asked if he wanted a lift. When refused the male drove off.
The male is described as white in his 40’s with greying hair and a bit bald; he was wearing a white tee shirt and sunglasses. The vehicle is described as a small dark coloured vehicle
Enquiries suggest a small dark vehicle has been seen in the area over the preceding few days around school finishing time.
The second incident happened at 3.30pm on Wednesday on Hesketh Street, Atherton, when a male in a green car pulled up alongside a 12-year-old female school pupil who was walking home from school and beckoned her over.
He told the young girl that he was on his way to pick her mum up and told her to get in the car. The young girl ran off as she did not know the man and reported the incident to her mother.
The male is described as white aged in his 60’s with grey short hair thinning on top, a round face and stubble, wearing a green jumper and glasses.
Detective Chief Inspector Michael Fraser said: “Clearly we have here two separate reports of children being approached by a stranger and enticed to try and get into a vehicle by a lone male.
“Whilst there are differences in descriptions between the two incidents there are also a number of similarities and at this time the possibility of both incidents involving the same man cannot be ruled out.
“Just as the children involved in these incidents have done I would urge that all parents and carers remind their children about the dangers of getting into a vehicle with anyone they do not know and to run away and tell an adult who they know straight away.”
A third incident was also reported by a 19-year-old female who was approached at around 9.40pm on Wednesday, when she had just got off a bus on Tyldesley Road, Tyldesley near to McDonalds.
She was approached by a male on foot who engaged her in conversation and attempted to hold her hand stating that he would walk her home.
The female shook him off her hand and went i to the nearby Aldi store to get away from him. The male disappeared in an unknown direction.
The male is described as White aged 40’s wearing grey tracksuit bottoms and Slazenger running trainers.
DCI Fraser said: “At this time it is not possible to state if this third incident is linked to the two involving school children.
“Clearly I would urge anybody who has any information which may assist us in identifying any of the described males in these incidents to contact the police on 101 or crime stoppers.”