Teachers being ‘extra vigilant’ after man is seen hanging around school gates

Layton Primary School (Pic: Google)
Layton Primary School (Pic: Google)

Staff at Layton Primary School are being ‘extra vigilant’ after a suspicious man was seen hanging around the main gates.

Police said the man was spotted by a worried passerby on both Monday and yesterday, with officers now looking into the report.

And in a text message sent to parents this morning, the school said: “Please be assured that following the presence of an unidentified man outside school this week, the police have been made aware and the school are monitoring CCTV carefully.

“We will be extra vigilant during this time.”

There is no suggestion the man has committed any offence, a spokesman for Lancashire Police added, with the report made by a passer-by who also alerted the school, though neighbourhood officers are investigating.

Headteacher Jonathan Clucas said: “There was a gentleman at the school gates yesterday who was acting in a manner inconsistent with school procedures when picking children up.

“He was spotted by a member of staff immediately and challenged – this is in our safeguarding policy and would be routine in such circumstances.

“Upon being challenged the gentleman left the premises and the we have referred the matter to the appropriate authorities, who will take the decision as to whether further investigation is necessary.”

Mr Clucas said the school’s procedures have proved to be ‘robust and ensured swift and appropriate action was taken to address the issue in a timely fashion’.

He added: “Obviously, we have many staff who will be out and about at key times of the day as a reassuring presence, not just today but regularly, but it does help if parents can support in making us aware if they are concerned, hence the reason for the text.

“There may well be an innocent explanation as to why the gentleman was at the school. However, our responsibility is, at all times to ensure pupil safety, and we have robust policies and procedures which highlight how paramount this is.

“I’m pleased that those procedures stood up to scrutiny on this occasion, and feel as confident they will do so in future.”

Nearby, at Unity Academy in Warbreck Hill Road, North Shore, police are investigating a break-in at the weekend.

Officers were called at around 6.15pm on Sunday after a burglar got in through a back door and stole a flatscreen NFC television.

A 15-year-old boy from Blackpool was later arrested on suspicion of burglar but released without charge.

An investigation remains ongoing. Any information can be reported to police by calling 101, quoting crime reference number WD1706430.