Hampshire police: No link between ‘suspicious incidents’ and Portsmouth abduction attempt

WORRY Brandon Wheeler, 10, who raised the alarm when an intruder tried to abduct Louie Hobby, one, from a back garden in Paulsgrove. Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (122557-5)

WORRY Brandon Wheeler, 10, who raised the alarm when an intruder tried to abduct Louie Hobby, one, from a back garden in Paulsgrove. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (122557-5)

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REPORTS of ‘suspicious incidents’ in Paulsgrove are not connected to an abduction attempt, according to police.

The News reported this week how dad Ben Hobby told of fighting off a hooded man from snatching his one-year-old son Louie from his home in Ludlow Road.

A 21-year-old man was arrested and bailed until September in connection with the incident.

But police confirmed they have received two reports of suspicious activity since the incident on Monday. The reports were of people hanging around in the street.

But they are not linking the incidents and confirm the alleged attempted abduction was an isolated incident.

Officers say the reports have been thoroughly investigated and confirm they are not being treated as a criminal matter.

But Louie’s mum Alicia Jacob, 21, said the new reports are a concern.

She said: ‘It’s very worrying to hear of the latest reports of suspicious activity in the area.

‘I won’t even let my children out of the house, let alone let them in the garden after what has happened.

‘Since the incident we have been very shaken up and people in the area have been shaken up as much as we are.

‘I haven’t been sleeping. It just runs over and over in my head about what could have happened if he hadn’t been spotted.

‘It’s very worrying for a parent to hear of the latest reports.’

Mr Hobby said he saw a hooded man, dressed in dark clothing, leaning over a wall and grabbing Louie’s arms as he stood on a ledge.

He hit the intruder with a metal bar to free his son.

The offender ran off down a nearby lane, according to Mr Hobby.

Miss Jacob added: ‘My son is OK.

‘He understands that there was a man over the fence, which I am not comfortable with but he seems to be getting over it quicker than we are.

‘We have been here for years and I want the police to do what they can to get him so we can carry on with the rest of our lives.

‘All the time we are looking outside now, and it’s hard with the summer holidays on as we can’t let them outside – it’s very scary.’

Cosham sector inspector Peter Page said: ‘We thank the community for approaching us with their questions and supporting our enquiries.

‘I understand and appreciate the concerns raised by members of the public, particularly parents in this community.

‘We can confirm that the incident reported in Ludlow Road on Monday is being treated as an isolated incident.

‘We would always ask the public to remain alert, but not alarmed in informing us of any suspicious behaviour.

‘We always take reports of this nature seriously and each incident is investigated thoroughly.

‘My Safer Neighbourhoods team will continue additional patrols of the area over the weekend and we would encourage residents to come and talk to us if they have any concerns.’

Cosham safer neighbourhood team can be contacted on 101. Mini-com users can call the police on 18001 101.

Information can be given anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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