Rumours have been circulating on social media that an alleged paedophile known as ‘Mark Feely’ has been seen in Doncaster in recent days.
There have been numerous reports from across the country over the last few years, with sightings claimed as far afield as Stoke on Trent in Staffordshire, Chorley in Lancashire and Chesterfield in Derbyshire, with police forces issuing statements to reassure residents.
There are claims he was seen travelling on a bus in the Doncaster area.
But South Yorkshire Police has issued a statement saying it would not comment on the rumours.
A spokesman said: "All we can say is that we neither confirm nor deny any information about anyone who may or may not be subject to investigation.”
In March last year, Lancashire Police issued a statement saying there was no substance to reports on social media saying ‘Feely’ was living in the county.
In an attempt to dispel the online rumours, Chorley Police published a statement on its Facebook page.
It said said: "We are aware of rumours on social media suggesting a man called Mark Feely has moved to the Chorley area.
"We believe this is a case of mistaken identity and that these rumours are false.
"We can confirm the individual named on social media DOES NOT currently live in the Lancashire area.”
Police in Rossendale, Lancashire also made a social media post to calm the community's fears by assuring residents that Feely "is over 100 miles away".
Staffordshire Police issued a similar statement, saying there was no substance to reports of him being in the Stoke on Trent area.
And in March 2021, Derbyshire Police also stepped in to quell rumours that reports of ‘Feely’ near a school in Chesterfield were false.
Police in Scotland have also issued statements telling people not to believe rumours circulating online after he was reported to be living in Rutherglen and Paisley.
Posts claimed he had been seen near a number of schools and had also been hit by a car.