RUMOURS that a white van is trawling a town in an attempt to snatch children off the street has been dismissed by police.

Officers say there is no truth in the claims centred on Tow Law, County Durham, and are visiting the town's two primary schools to reassure worried youngsters and parents.

The rumours originate from an anonymous post on social networking site Facebook.

PC Dave Turner said although children and carers should always be vigilant, investigations have found absolutely no substance to the rumours. Today he visited Tow Law Millenium Primary and the Blessed John Duckett RC Primary to ask head teachers to pass his reassurances on.

He said: "It got to the stage where some very impressionable children were in tears and frightened to go outside the schoolyard.

"This rumour has spread from a Facebook site, been downloaded and passed on and got completely out of hand.

"We can find nothing to substantiate this rumour and that message will be given out to assemblies at the schools today.

"Of course children should stay alert as always to stranger danger and follow the "Say No" to stranger guidelines but there is absolutely no truth in these white van rumours."