Female students stalked as they walked alone
FEMALE students have been warned to be on their guard after a suspicious man was reported to be following young women.
Emails have been sent to students at Newcastle College and Keele University giving a description of a suspect thought to have targeted women in two separate incidents.
Police say a 17-year-old from Newcastle College reported being followed as she walked home on her own.
A Keele University student, who is in her late twenties, made a similar report a few hours later.
Officers are investigating whether the incidents, which happened on Monday evening, are linked.
A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: "Officers are investigating two suspicious incidents which occurred on Monday.
"The first involved a 17-year-old female student from Newcastle College, who was followed by a man as she walked along Cedar Road on her own at around 5.10pm.
"The second involved a Keele University student in her late twenties, who was followed by a man as she walked along Keele Road at around 9.10pm.
"Neither woman was harmed but both were left shaken. On both occasions the man's intentions are unknown.
"Officers are investigating both reports, which could be linked.
"As part of our ongoing investigation, emails have been sent to staff and students at Keele University and Newcastle College to keep them informed."
The man involved is described as white, aged in his early to mid 20s, 5ft 10in tall with a slim build and short dark hair. He wore a navy hooded top or jumper and dark trousers.
Students at Keele were shocked by the incident.
Alice Pritchard, aged 19, who is studying biology and biochemistry, said: "We were sent an email warning us about it. It gave a description and advice about walking alone and what to do if you are followed.
"It's worrying. I drive so I don't have to walk on my own very much, but if I did it would be scary."
English and media student Mollie Young said she had been approached by a man in a car a few weeks ago.
The 18-year-old, who lives on campus, said: "I was walking along Keele Road when a man stopped and said, 'Do you want to get in my car?'
"I just said no and nothing else happened. I wasn't too worried about it. I think it's quite safe here."
Newcastle College declined to comment on the incidents, which come less than a week after a woman was threatened with a knife in Meir, and another reported being followed.
An 18-year-old was walking in Weston Road on October 17 when a would-be robber threatened her with what appeared to be a craft knife.
At around 9.15pm the same day, a second woman, aged 38, reported that a man had followed her as she walked in the Normacot Grange Road area.
Anyone with information about the incidents in Keele and Newcastle is asked to contact DC Chris Pope at Staffordshire Police on 101, quoting incident number 730 of October 15.