Police are reminding young people to be careful when walking to and from school after two incidents in the last week.
A girl was walking along Leicester Road in Luton between 3pm and 3.50pm on Friday (September 30) when she was approached by three men and a woman. One of the men inappropriately touched the girl before she was able to run away.
The four people are all described as white and the woman was believed to be wearing traditional Romanian dress.
On Monday (October 3) a teenage girl was walking along Rock Lane in Leighton Buzzard at approximately 3.30pm when she was approached by a man who touched her in a sexual manner, before getting into a silver VW Polo and driving away.
The man is described as white, in his 20s, approximately 5ft 6ins, with short brown hair. He was wearing a plain white T-shirt and baggy light blue jeans. Three other men were in the car which he got into.
Detective Inspector Ryan Brammer, of the Bedfordshire Police Emerald unit, said: “I understand that reports such as these are worrying, however, I’d like to reassure parents that we are working hard to investigate both of these crimes and to identify the people responsible.
“There is no excuse for this type of behaviour, it’s completely unacceptable and we will not tolerate it. I’d urge anyone who may have witnessed either of these incidents to get in touch with us to help us find the people responsible.”
Schools and Young Person Development Officer, Richard Denton, said: “For the vast majority of pupils the journey to and from school is safe and uneventful, however, we do occasionally get these types of reports.
“We’d encourage parents and guardians to discuss personal safety with their children and make sure they understand the importance of not speaking to strangers.
“Simple advice to follow includes avoiding walking alone if possible, stick to busy, well-lit streets, and be alert – avoid wearing headphones as this can distract from your surroundings.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Emerald unit on 101, or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.