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‘Sick joke or suspicious approaches’: Police investigate two Co Armagh incidents

Police are investigating whether or not two incidents in the Craigavon area last night are to be classed as ‘suspicious’ approaches.

On two occasions, children between nine and 11 years of age were stopped by males in a blue van in the Clonmeen area of Craigavon.

Police have described the incidents as “disturbing” and said the boys were offered money to get into the vehicle.

But there is some doubt as to the motives and police are not sure whether or not those involved were joking as one was laughing at the time.

They said: “We are aware this is going to be alarming news to parents, however it is important to keep an open mind about these things.

“The males in question were joking with one of the boys, and made no physical attempt to get the boys into the van, to the extent that one of these parents doesn’t believe this was a ‘child approach’.

“There are also people out there who have a sick sense of humour who may have thought this was some sort of joke. It’s not.

“Whatever the case may be, whilst we’re investigating and finding out exactly who was involved and what the motives were, it is a timely reminder to talk to your kids about stranger danger.

The boys in both incidents did exactly the right thing- walked away and told their parents. This is the key message we need to get across. Speak to them, remind them of stranger danger, and we’ll update you when we know more.

“If you saw a blue van in Clonmeen or that area of Craigavon around 7,30pm last night please call us immediately on 101, quoting incident 1217 of 08/09/16.

“If you were either of the men in this van, call us. We’ll be speaking to you at some stage so if this was some sick joke, tell us now.”

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