Police investigate suspicious approaches to girls in Haywards Heath
Detectives are investigating suspicious approaches to several young girls in the street in Haywards Heath during October, Sussex Police have said.
Police said that between October 19 and 28 ‘what is believed to be the same man’ was seen to approach a total of four separate teenage girls in the street, on seven separate occasions, one of them four times.
On each occasion, police said, he engaged them in conversation and asked them to go with him.
On three occasions he was seen to have a car, they added.
“All the girls very sensibly refused and reported the approaches,” said a Sussex Police spokesperson, adding that the girls were not attacked or injured.
The police spokesperson went on: “The suspect is described as white with a tanned complexion, with brown hair, and in his thirties.
“He was wearing a hoody and Covid-19 face mask.
“The approaches are not all focused on any one locality in the town and all but one took place during the afternoons.”
Detective Inspector Ali Hutchings said: “We have been making intensive enquiries over the past two weeks and these continue.”
The victims are being supported by officers, he said.
Detective Inspector Hutchings added: “The exact motive for these approaches has not been established at present but clearly this behaviour is concerning and offensive, and we need to identify this man.
“Anyone who recognises this man, or who has witnessed any similarly suspicious behaviour in the area recently, is asked to contact police online or by calling 101, quoting Operation Vertical.
“Alternatively, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
“If you see or experience any such approaches, do not engage with the person and call 999 right away.”