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Northern Ireland school warning after girls 'inappropriately approached'

By Jonny Bell

Published 27/09/2016

The school has warned pupils to be aware of their safety.
The school has warned pupils to be aware of their safety.

A Northern Ireland school has urged parents to reinforce the "stranger danger" message following an "inappropriate approach" outside its grounds.

Bangor's all-girl Glenlola Collegiate briefed pupils during Tuesday's assembly and sent a letter to parents about the incident.

It said three girls were "inappropriately approached" by a stranger outside the school close to its Valentine Road gates on Monday afternoon.

"They stayed together, remained calm and immediately called the police, who are commending them on their swift and responsible actions," principal Mr Thompson said in the letter seen by the Belfast Telegraph.

He said that the PSNI was dealing with the issue and reminded parents to  reinforce the "stranger danger" message to their daughters.

This is the second warning Glenlola, which caters for around 1,200 pupils, has issued in as many weeks.

It advised parents to ensure children did not walk alone alone Castle Park in the seaside Co Down town following an approach in the area on September 13.

One Year 9 pupil's parent expressed her concern at the latest warning.

She said: "I'm extremely concerned to hear that girls from have been approached, specially as it follows another approach made to a girl a couple of weeks ago.

"My daughter frequently walks to and from school through Castle Park, as do hundreds of others from Glenlola and Bangor Academy. Valentine Road is the route to the Aurora leisure centre and youngsters walk along it all the time.

"It's shocking that someone would approach girls so close to the school entrance."

She added: "I've spoken to my daughter about not taking short cuts through the park unless she's in a group, and in fact, that was the school's advice earlier this month.

"But this latest incident shows that girls are still vulnerable even when they're with their friends. I'm pleased to hear that the school is being proactive in advising girls about staying safe, and that the police are involved.

"It'll soon be dark in the late afternoon and I'll be telling my daughter not to walk through the park at any time."

The school's principal was unavailable to comment.

The PSNI said: "Police are investigating following a report of a man indecently exposing himself in the vicinity of a leisure complex in the Valentine Road area of Bangor.

"Enquiries have been ongoing since the incident was reported to police on Monday afternoon. The man is described as having dark hair, wearing a black leather jacket, black jeans and a t-shirt.

"Anyone who can help with enquiries is asked to contact Police on the 101 number. Or, if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details, they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111."

The latest incident comes after the death of pupil Megan Ogle, the 15-year-old who died from an aggressive form of bone cancer.

More: Brave schoolgirl Megan Ogle dies after two-year battle with cancer

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