Alert after driver tried to lure boy, 12, into van in South Downs

Police are appealing for witnesses to an incident in a South Downs village when a man tried to lure a schoolboy into his van.

Officers say that the incident happened at 3.20pm on December 12 when a man driving a grey van approached the 12-year-old boy on Common Hill in West Chiltington.

He asked the boy if he wanted a lift or if he wanted some sweets.

A police spokesman said: “The boy replied no before running to a friend’s house.

“He was not harmed and the adult male at no stage exited his vehicle or approached the boy.”

He added that police are treating the case as a ‘suspicious act’ and are asking anyone with any information to report it online or call 101 quoting serial 1095 of 12/12.

The man is described as being white with dark hair and brown eyes and is thought to be in his mid-30s.

Meanwhile, parents of children at The Weald School in Billingshurst have been sent letters from the school warning them of the incident and ‘a potential threat to children.’

The school urged parents to remind their children about the dangers of accepting lifts from strangers.