Police called 125 times for school lurkers

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Police have been called out 125 times in the past year to investigate suspicious people hanging around near city schools, the Citizen can reveal.

The figures have been disclosed by police following the three recent cases of attempted abduction in Stacey Bushes, Shenley Church End and Oxley.

Alarmingly, officers have also been called out three times to deal with incidents involving firearms in schools,

The figures came this week after a Freedom of Information request from the Citizen.

They show police officers are called upon up to three times a DAY during term time to deal with various problems in different local schools.

Sightings of would-be abductors are given highest priority and warrant an immediate response, said a police spokesman.

During the past 12 months officers have been summoned 644 times by a total of 1115 schools, ranging from nurseries to secondary schools.

The most common reason is to report a suspicious person or vehicle.

But there have been 58 calls for police to help with disorders and disputes, while “Fear for personal welfare” is the reason given for 23 call-outs. Anti-social behaviour prompted 15 visits.

Police have also dealt with one serious sexual offence, four cases of sexual exposure, one case of sexual activity with a child and five racist incidents.More police time has been taken up by 33 cases of drivers parking badly outside schools. Three call-outs come under the enigmatic category of “abandoned” while 57 are simply categorised as “incidents” in a school.

Last week Child Watch , a group calling for a protective network to be set up for children, was launched by Councillor Joyce Hall. The group aims to bring together parents, schools, police and adults to help protect children following the spate of attempted abductions.