Police say they have increased patrols around schools after fresh reports that pupils have been approached.

Schools have again emailed parents to advise children to be aware when walking to and from school, after reports last week in the Watford area and Hemel Hempstead.

Hertfordshire Constabulary has confirmed two new incidents took place yesterday (Tuesday).

At 7.30am, a 12-year-old girl in school uniform was walking along Langley Road in Watford when a man approached her and is believed to have tried to snatch her bag. The girl ran away and the man did not follow.

He is described as Asian, short with curly hair and was wearing a grey coat with fur on the hood, and carrying a black rucksack.

In Hempstead Road, Kings Langley, close to Kings Langley School, a woman, believed to be a parent of a student, was asked to get into a grey van but she declined. The van driver is described as white, aged in his late 60s and wearing glasses.

The incident prompted Kings Langley School to email parents with the subject title ‘Stranger Danger’.

Last week, a 14-year-old girl was offered a lift by an Asian man near Malmes Croft in Hemel Hempstead while the week earlier, a girl in Croxley Green was offered a lift by a white man driving a black car.

The police say they are not treating the incidents as “attempted abductions” but as “suspicious incidents”.

Sergeant Neil Canning said: “We are aware of the significant concern that news of these incidents, including posts on social media groups and messages from schools, is causing local communities.

“I’d like to reassure you that we are taking these reports seriously however, at this stage there is nothing to suggest that these incidents are attempted abductions.

“While we continue to work to identify the men involved to establish their motives, we have increased patrols around affected schools and are speaking to children about their personal safety.

“Anyone who witnesses suspicious activity is asked, where safe to do so, record the vehicle’s registration and report it to police immediately. If a crime is in progress always dial 999.

“If you are providing information about a suspicious incident after it has happened and the person is no longer in the local vicinity please call 101.”