Man tried to get girl aged 11 in car

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A man tried to get an 11-year-old girl into his car in Hastings as she was walking home from school.

The victim was walking home from school in Harley Shute Road at about 3.20pm on Thursday (15 January) when a man got out of a car and asked her to get into his vehicle. The girl refused, pushed the man away and ran home. As she fled she saw a woman with a young boy approach the man and remonstrated with him. The man was white, in his 30s and about 5’ 7” with brown collar-length hair. He had what is believed to be a dark coloured two-door car that had paint peeling on it. Officers have spoken to staff at the victim’s school who have passed information to children and parents about what happened. Extra patrols have also been sent into the area to reassure residents and to look for witnesses.

Detective inspector Gavin Patch said: “We don’t want to worry parents or children in the area but we need to find out what the man’s motive was. It could have been an innocent attempt to give the girl a lift home in the rain but we have to investigate this as a serious incident just in case. We aren’t linking this to any other incidents at the moment. The girl did exactly the right thing. She was not hurt at all but was unsurprisingly very shaken. We need to speak to anyone who recognises the description of the man or his vehicle and who knows who he is or where he could be. We would also like to trace the woman who approached the man.” Anyone with information can email or call 101 quoting serial 1026 of 15/01, call 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.