POLICE have squashed malicious rumours that a paedophile has moved into Huncoat.
They are now trying to trace the person who wrote to every household on Bluebell Way, claiming a child molester was living in their midst.
He claimed to be a former friend of the man, who he said was not allowed to access the Internet unsupervised because he had previously being caught downloading and viewing child porn.
The author of the letter, sent with a Shropshire postmark, went on to explain that he was striving for a safer community as well as trying to protect the children on Bluebell Way.
But following a short investigation police found the allegations to be completely untrue.
Huncoat community beat manager, PC Maxine Bolton, said: "The content of these letters is completely malicious. The man named in the letter does not even live in the house referred to. The house, which has only been built for three years, has never had any connections with child porn or paedophiles."
Police believe the letters were sent by a disgruntled former resident of the National Autistic Home in Altham who has been moved away from the area.
It is believed he became jealous of the progress his victim was making and tried to cause problems for him by labelling him a paedophile.
In a bid to reassure residents police have personally visited around 15 homes and are willing to go to more to set minds at rest. Anyone who still has concerns can contact PC Bolton on 353103.
Evelyn Pettigrew, whose daughter and seven-month-old granddaughter live on Bluebell Way, said: "We were all absolutely devastated when we received the letter. We just didn’t know what to do. I actually rang the number on the letter but only got through to a National Autistic Society carer.
"The letter from the police really helped to reassure us that our children were not in danger. However, I do think people should be made aware of who lives in their street if there is any threat."
Her neighbour, father-of-two Steve Sullivan, said: "When I read the letter I was very concerned but not to the point where I was going to grab my torch and pitchfork. To be honest I had a bit of inside information as my new neighbour works for the NAS and helped to set our minds at rest.
"However, I would not have been happy to find out a pervert was living so close to me. In my opinion paedophiles have no place in the community."
The man who now lives in the house concerned, not the man named in the letter, has round-the-clock care from the NAS because he has severe learning disabilities.
A spokesman said: "The National Autistic Society is aware of a letter referring to a former resident of its Lanc-ashire service for adults with autism.
"The police have responded, acknowledging that it was malicious and reassuring residents that there is no cause for concern."