UPDATE: Doncaster police put 'high-visibility' patrols on streets after concerns about groups of men in cars approaching children
High-visibility police patrols have been put on the streets of Doncaster to reassure people after two groups of children were approached by gangs of men in cars in the space of three days.
The first incident happened in Balby when two 14-year-old girls were chased on foot by two men who had followed them in a BMW car.
The frightening incident happened near Spinney Corner Shop in The Spinney, Balby, at around 7.10pm on February 8.
It came two days before two youngsters were apparently approached by men in a BMW in Bentley.
Police say high-visibility patrols have now been put in place to reassure the public.
Jodie Southgate, the mum of one of the teens approached in Balby, said the girls were walking away from the shop when they realised a black BMW, travelling very slowly, was following them.
The 41-year-old told The Free Press: “She told me that they looked at the car, which was full with about five men, and as they were walking they heard the window being wound down.
She added: “They carried on walking and they heard the door open and realised that two men had got out of the car and had started running after them. The girls started running back to our house in Grenville Road, which luckily is only about 300 metres away.
“They told me what had happened as soon as they came in, but when we looked we couldn’t see anyone.
“I want other parents to know about what’s happened, because it’s very scary that this could happen in a well-lit street.
“I want to think that they only wanted to scare the girls, and that is all they wanted from them – but I can’t know that for sure.
“Thank God the girls were together when this happened. If I could say anything to other parents it would be to make sure kids aren’t walking about by themselves at night.”
A South Yorkshire Police spokesman told The Free Press: “Police were called to reports that two teenage girls had been followed by the occupants of a black coloured BMW car on Grenville Road on Monday evening around 7.15pm.
“Due to the suspicious circumstances, officers checked local CCTV but the car could not be traced. Anyone with information is asked to contact police via: 101 and quoting incident number 944 of the 8 February.”
The incident happened just two days before two boys were apparently approached by men in a blue BMW in Bentley on Wednesday morning.
Details of the incident have been circulated widely on social media.
Sapphire Stuchbery New said on Facebook: “Men in a blue metallic bmw has just pulled up near my brother and his friend playing on the street.
“They opened the door but then saw a car behind them and shot off!
“My parents live in the quiet part of Bentley so just want to warn people! I’m so relieved there was another car there otherwise God knows what would of happened!”
A police spokesman said: “Police are aware of rumours circulating on social media regarding a series of suspicious incidents involving a BMW vehicle in the area, but no reports of any crimes have been made.
“Local officers are continuing to carry out high visibility patrols to reassure the public.”