Suspicious approaches to children: Police ‘not directly linking’ Ballynure and Burnside incidents

Editorial image.
Editorial image.

Police say they are “not directly linking” a suspicious approach to two young girls in Ballynure at the weekend to a similar incident in Burnside in April.

The two girls reported that as they were leaving the park in the Lismenary Road area of Ballynure at around 11am on Saturday, a man driving a white van called over to them and asked them to get inside. A male passerby, however, asked the man what he was doing before he drove off in the direction of the nearby Larne Line. The driver of the van was described as being around 40 years old and was wearing a black baseball cap.

A similar incident took place in Burnside on Saturday, April 9. It was reported that sometime around 8.15pm as a group of children were walking towards the Kelburn estate, a man in a van pulled up beside them and asked them to do a job for him and asked them to get into the back of his van and get crisps. Two other children then came over and the man reportedly asked them could they help or did they have to go home. The children did not enter the van and they left the area. None of the children were physically assaulted.

The man involved in the Burnside incident is described as being between 40 and 50 years old, of stocky build, approximately 6’2”/6’3” or taller, bald with grey hair at the sides and wearing a navy long jacket and navy work trousers.

A PSNI spokesperson said: “At this stage we are not directly linking the two incidents, however our enquiries are still at an early stage, but we will review all similar incidents.”