Staff at the Ships and Castles leisure centre in Falmouth are on “heightened alert” after reports that a man attempted to video two young girls in a changing cubicle at the weekend.

The two primary school age girls were sharing a cubicle in the mixed sex “family changing village” when it is alleged a man poked a camera under the door before making off when spotted by the children.

The girls did not immediately report the incident to staff, but waited until their parents arrived to collect them.

The police were then alerted and are now warning people to be vigilant when visiting the centre on Pendennis headland.

The incident is alleged to have happened between 2.45pm and 3pm on Saturday and the girls have described the offender as being a white man who was possibly wearing a blue sweatshirt and white trainers with blue and red markings.

“We are asking anyone using the swimming baths to be very vigilant of any individual hanging around and anyone with any information in regard to the identity of the man at the weekend to contact me,” said Sergeant Martin Roberts at Falmouth police station.

The allegation is being taken very seriously by Tempus Leisure, which runs Ships and Castles. Marketing manager Marc Laundon said: “We are aware there was an incident on Saturday afternoon, but unfortunately the girls did not say anything until their parents collected them so we were not able to establish who the person was.

“We have full safeguarding procedures in place and a safeguarding officer, but due to the time lapse we were not able to locate the man. If we had known at the time of the incident, we may have been able to.

“It is extremely rare for anything like this to happen, but it is a public space. We are now on heightened alert and have more staff in the area of the changing village.”

Anyone who may be able to help police identify the man is asked to call 101, ask for Sgt Roberts and quote crime reference GP14/248.