DETECTIVES have written to thousands of parents after a serial attacker struck again for the first time in three years.

Police say that a man followed a teenage schoolgirl along Harris Drive in Unsworth at 8.15am on Tuesday February 5 and threw a sticky white substance on her clothing.

Officers also revealed that there had been a very similar incident a few yards away in Kennedy Drive, as a girl made her way from school at 4.30pm on January 11.

The incidents are similar to six incidents in late 2009 when a man of the same description followed schoolgirls along the street and threw a liquid on to their skirts and tights or tried to do so before the girls ran off.

One of those incidents took place in Kennedy Drive and others occurred in Ostrich Lane and Bury Old Road, Prestwich, Pinfold Lane, Whitefield, and in Bury town centre.

Detectives at the time sent the substance off to forensic experts who spent four months analysing the material to identify it.

According to investigation leaders based at Bury CID, they were able to conclude that it was most likely a “substance belonging to an animal”.

The victims of the most recent attacks described the man as white, aged 20 to 40 and around 5ft 9in.

Detective Chief Inspector Sara Wallwork said: “Specially trained officers have been speaking to and supporting the two victims as part of the investigation and inquiries are ongoing.

“Due to the similar nature of these incidents, we are considering the possibility that they are linked although we are keeping an open mind.

“We are well aware that these incidents are very similar to a serious of incidents in Bury three years ago.

“Understandably there will be concerns due to the similarity.

“We are taking these incidents very seriously and together with the local authority we are engaging with local schools.

“We are reviewing the original investigation and keeping an open mind as to the possibility that the same man may be responsible.

Det Ch Insp Wallwork has written to parents of pupils who attend local high schools, and said officers were carrying out extra patrols on school routes.

She wrote: “If your daughter experiences any incidents of this nature or you notice a suspicious substance on your child’s clothing, please keep it to one side and inform the police immediately.”

Anyone with information should call Bury CID on 0161 856 8152.