PARENTS are being warned to stay vigilant after reports that a man ‘dressed in black’ has been following young boys to school.

Two similar incidents from separate primary schools were reported to police in Widnes within 24 hours last week.

Cheshire Police confirmed today, Thursday, that the first incident happened on January 21 at about 8am.

A 10-year-old boy ran away from a man he believed was following him from Milton Road and onto Charles Street.

The following day at a different location, another 10-year-old boy reported seeing a man dressed all in black running towards him.

He had been walking with his bicycle in an alleyway between Arley Walk and Hough Green Station – about two miles away from where the first incident took place.

Although both occurred in Widnes, Halton Borough Council sent a warning to all schools across the borough so that parents could be made aware.

In an email, the man was described as ‘wearing a black hat covering his nose and face (possibly a balaclava).’

In another text sent to parents from a different school, the man has been described as a white male in his 20s.

The email advises parents to talk to their children about staying safe, especially those who walk to and from school alone.

A spokesman from Cheshire Police said the local policing unit would be increasing patrols in the area, adding that enquiries are ongoing to establish the full circumstances of what took place.

Chief Inspector Simon Parsonage said: “Enquiries are ongoing to establish the full circumstances of what has taken place.

“Understandably there are some concerns from the local community regarding these two incidents and we have increased patrols in these areas to provide reassurance.

“If anyone has any concerns then they are urged to speak to a local officer. We would remind people to be vigilant and to report any suspicious activity.”