A boy was asked if he wanted a lift by an Asian man driving a van this morning.

The 11-year-old was on his way to school when he was approached just before 8am at the Esso petrol station in Sheepcot Lane, by the A405.

This morning's report comes after at least three reports of schoolchildren being approached in Rickmansworth, Chorleywood, and Mill End last week.

Police are carrying out enquiries to see whether today's incident is linked to ones last week. These include looking at CCTV to see whether they can trace a registration plate which can be linked to the suspect vehicle.

Officers are urging children to report any suspicious behaviour, note down as much information as possible, and even take a photo if it is safe to do so.

Previous story: Police have four reports of schoolchildren being approached

Today, an Asian driver in a white van pulled up in Sheepcot Lane and asked the boy if he wanted to get in - but the boy refused and the man drove off.

The boy rang his mother, who called the police. His school are also aware of the incident.

Last Monday (October 8), a 10-year-old girl was followed by an Asian man driving a white van in Quickley Lane, Chorleywood.

The next day, during the afternoon, a 12-year-old girl was followed by a van driver in The Drive, Rickmansworth.

On the Thursday, three boys, all aged 11, were followed by a man in Denham Way, Mill End.

A fourth report in Oakfield, Mill End, on Friday has been established as a case of mistaken identity. 

After reviewing CCTV footage, police say the Asian man in a black taxi was a taxi driver, waiting for a customer, which was a school child, and the taxi driver mistakenly thought a 16-year-old boy walking by was his customer.

Despite all of the reports, including today's, police insist that no child has been grabbed and no criminal offences have been committed - but they are carrying out extensive enquiries.

Sergeant Matt Langley, from the Watford safer neighbourhood team (SNT), said: “News of this incident will understandably cause concern among the community but I would like to stress that at no point did the man attempt to exit the vehicle or grab the child.

"Officers have already made contact with the boy’s school this morning and they have confirmed they will be giving a talk to students about personal safety and how to respond to strangers.

"We are keeping an open mind as to whether this incident is linked to last week’s reports in Three Rivers, but we are taking it very seriously. We have already spoken to our colleagues and will be working closely together on the investigation."

In Three Rivers, increased police patrols continue to take place outside schools, according to Hertfordshire Constabulary.

Sergeant Neil Canning, from the Rickmansworth and Croxley Green SNT, said: "The Watford team will do all they can to identify the man in this latest incident in order to ascertain what his intentions were, however at this moment in time they only have a vague description.

"When news of these types of incidents reaches the public, it is usual to see a rise in the number of follow-up reports due to people being extra vigilant. We are grateful for every call we receive as it helps us to build an intelligence picture, however I’d like to stress that some of the subsequent reports we receive may not be considered suspicious or linked in any way.

"Meanwhile I would again encourage parents and carers to discuss personal safety with their children and ensure they know it is appropriate to dial 999 if they believe they are being followed by a stranger."

Any similar reports or anyone with any information can contact police on 101 quoting ISR 333 of 10 October or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800555111.