On Thursday, November 8, a Derby Middle School student reported to the administration that a white van was driving slowly and circling the area near Derby Road around the time students walked to school, and Birmingham Schools sent out emails to alert parents of the potential danger.
The Birmingham Police Department was also notified, according to school spokesperson Anne Cron.
The student reported that a white van with red lettering on the side – letters that the student said started with a “T” – was driving slowly and circling around the area near Derby Road Thursday morning around the time students were walking to school. The driver was described as a white male having long messy brownish or black hair with a messy beard that was either gray or brown, wearing a gray shirt.
Anyone noticing suspicious activity has been advised to contact the Birmingham Police Department.
Besides an email coming out from Derby, other Birmingham Schools sent out emails alerting families of the potential danger, as well as general safety guidelines of what to do.
In each email, guidelines were given from the National Crime Prevention Council, which they advise talking with your children ahead of time. They include:
Know where you are going and the safest way to get there. Always take care when walking or biking. Avoid isolated areas and do not wear headphones or text while walking. You need to be aware of your surroundings at all times. Walking around with a cell phone in sight can make you an easy target. Always tell an adult where you are going and what time you’ll be back. Whenever possible, travel with a friend or group of friends. If you think you are being followed, go to the nearest store or public place. If there isn’t a store or public area nearby, keep moving and don’t be afraid to yell for help or make other noise to draw attention to the situation. Report anything suspicious to the police as quickly as possible and provide as much detail as you can.
The district and Birmingham police are monitoring the situation.