Hornsey, northwest London
Hornsey, northwest London, near where the first reported incident happenedGoogle

Police have stepped up patrols in Hornsey after a man attempted to convince four schoolgirls that he was a police officer in what detectives believe were attempted abductions. The man has approached the girls in North West London on Monday (18 January) and Tuesday.

The first reported incident happened between 7.50am and 9am when four school girls, aged between 11 and 14-years-old, were approached by the suspect man in a number of locations in the Hornsey area.

The same man is then thought to have approached girls in the area shortly before 8am on Tuesday. All of the girls have been spoken to by police, who have also spoken to relevant schools. None of the girls were injured and the investigation is ongoing. Police have now increased reassurance patrols.

The man was not wearing a police uniform but it is understood he identified himself as a police officer. He is described as black, aged between 20 and 30-years-old, and of medium build. He had short dark hair and was wearing a jacket with the hood up.

Chief Inspector Jude Beehag-Fisher, from Haringey Borough, said: "It would be unusual for police officers in plain clothes not to identify themselves by showing a warrant card, and members of the public are entitled to ask to see one.

"Any child approached by someone in the street, in similar circumstances to these incidents, that are not shown any identification that they the person is a police officer, should get away from them as quickly as possible, they should shout for help and make sure they tell a parent, teacher or other person in authority as soon as possible. In an emergency always dial 999."

Anyone with information about the incidents can call police in Haringey via 101, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or at crimestoppers-uk.org. In an emergency always dial 999.