SCHOOLS across Sutton have been put on high alert and women urged to be extra vigilant after a spate of attacks across the town in a matter of days.
Pupils and staff at a number of schools have been briefed and women going out alone after-dark are being warned after two females in Streetly were attacked and an Arthur Terry pupil ‘beckoned’ as she made her way to school.
A 21-year-old woman was walking along Bakers Lane, near to the junction with Queslett Road East, at around 4.45pm last Wednesday (January 8) when a car driver pulled alongside her to ask for directions. When she stopped to help, she was grabbed by her scarf but luckily managed to break free.
Police have been conducting house-to-house enquiries and scanning CCTV footage in a bid to trace her attacker.
Detective Sergeant Aki Heer, from Force CID, said: “Detectives are investigating a report that a woman was assaulted by a driver on Bakers Lane.
“Police were called at 5pm, around 15 minutes after it is alleged a 21-year-old Walsall woman was grabbed by her scarf as she offered the driver of a dark car directions.
“After a brief struggle, the woman broke free and ran home where her mother dialled 999.
“House-to-house enquiries have been conducted and items have been seized for forensic examination. Work continues to identify CCTV cameras in the area which may have captured the indecent.
“Although uninjured, the woman has been left badly shaken. Detectives continue to work with the woman to secure a full and detail account of what happened,” Det Sgt Heer added.
Three days later, on Saturday (January 11), a 40-year-old woman was making her way home from a friend’s house when she was approached by an Asian man in a white Audi TT – which had the letter sequence ‘LM’ in the registration number plate – in nearby Sutton Oak Road.
He stopped the car and told the woman to get in the vehicle.
When she said no, the driver became “very aggressive” and shouted at her to “get in the f**king car”.
The woman, who has been left extremely scared and frightened by the incident, managed to escape and ran home.
Police are currently speaking to the victim to establish exactly what happened.
As it went to press, the Observer also learnt that a girl from The Arthur Terry School in Four Oaks had been approached by a car driver the day before (January 10).
The student received a “beckoning gesture” as she made her way to school along Lichfield Road last Friday morning.
Neil Warner, headteacher at Arthur Terry, said: “A student was beckoned by a driver of a white car but she chose not to go over to it.
“We alerted staff and students and took the precautionary measure of texting parents. We also sent a message to all the primary schools in the area to alert them to the incident.
“At a staff briefing, we said please continue to press on the students the need to be vigilant.”
A spokesman for West Midlands Police confirmed they had received a call from the school at around midday last Friday.
“No conversation took place and there was no attempt to grab the girl.”
The string of latest incidents comes less than four weeks after three abduction attempts at other schools in the area.
A man in a white or silver van is believed to have offered children lifts near to Streetly Academy and Lindens Primary School just before Christmas.
Police are appealing to anyone who witnessed the past week’s incidents or saw cars matching the descriptions above around the time of the attacks to call them on 101. Information can also be left with the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.