Police step up high-visibility patrols in Saffron Walden after motorist offers young woman a “lolly” to entice her into his van

THIS is an e-fit of a man police are eager to speak to after he offered a young woman a “lolly” to get into his van.

And police are stepping up high-visibility patrols following the incident, which happened while the victim was walking home along Debden Road, Saffron Walden, on Sunday May 13, between 7.20 pm and 7.30 pm.

The driver of a small white van with no rear windows offered her a lolly, leaning across through the passenger window. The victim ran off, and the man followed her, until she got away down an alley.

Sgt Colin Cox said police are keen to speak to the driver involved in this incident to seek an explanation for his behaviour.

“We don’t know what the man’s motives were, which is why we need to talk to him,” said Sgt Cox. “Because of the uncertainly we will be running high-visibility patrols in the town.

“I would appeal to the driver to contact police, or if anyone saw the incident, or even the van in that area, please call us. If you recognise the man from the e-fit, or this description, that would be very helpful.”

The man is described as of Indian or Pakistani appearance, with a long brown plain beard and wearing a dark blue turban as worn by many men of Sikh religion. He had what looked like a loose white sheet over his shoulders.

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Similar incidents occurred in Stansted last month, when two teenagers were alarmed by the actions of motorists. But police confirmed that there was no suggestion these incidents were linked to the recent reports of attempted child abductions in Harlow.

Sgt Cox added: “I would appeal for residents to work with officers by reporting concerns directly to Essex Police or Crimestoppers and not through other forums or websites and so on, so that officers can respond appropriately to information about these incidents.”

Anyone with information about these incidents, please contact officers at Saffron Walden police station on 101, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.