Parents’ fears after children approached in series of incidents in Waterlooville

The underpass at Frendstaple Road in Waterlooville near to the scene of a recent assault
The underpass at Frendstaple Road in Waterlooville near to the scene of a recent assault
Devida Bushrod (front) with (l-r) Maddy Bushrod (13),  Devida's husband Jason, Mark Loudon (nine), mum Sarah Loudon, Ruth Loudon (10), and Angela Kerfoot. Picture Ian Hargreaves  (171556-1)

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PARENTS say they have been left too scared to let their children out after several reports of suspicious encounters with men.

Police have launched an investigation after a number of incidents involving children in Waterlooville.

As reported in The News, a 14-year-old girl was assaulted on a footpath near Frendstaple Road on Saturday.

But Hampshire Constabulary last night released details of three other incidents dating back to September 27, which involve teenagers being chased by a man in one area of the town.

Now mums living near to where the incidents occured have spoken of their concerns.

Donna Sproston, 43, is a mum-of-two who lives in Badger Brow.

She said: ‘I am not letting my daughter out of the house.

‘There’s so many woods round here and there should be more officers on the beat.

‘There’s lot of kids around and it’s not safe at all.

‘I am really concerned because of my daughter.’

Resident Nadege Derrick, who lives nearby, added: ‘The police knocked at my door but I didn’t hear anything.

‘I have been here 30 years and nothing surprises me these days.’

A 43-year-old mum living off Frendstaple Road, who did not want to be named, said she saw police officers searching through bushes on Sunday.

She said: ‘It was a bit of a shock because my daughter was at her friend’s house.

‘I am not letting her out.’

Now police are appealing for information.

Chief Inspector Patrick Holdaway, district commander for Havant and Waterlooville police, said: ‘We are treating these incidents seriously and we are keeping an open mind currently about whether or not they are linked.

‘In each case the description of the person involved has been quite different.

‘We would ask parents to make sure their children are aware of the stranger-danger messages and to report any suspicious activity to us on 101. In an emergency, dial 999.’

THERE have been a number of incidents involving children across the last few days.

* Saturday, September 27: two 14-year-old girls reported a man acting suspiciously in the Shaftesbury Avenue area at around 8.45pm.

The man is described as white, in his late 20s, 5ft 2ins tall, skinny, with light brown short hair, wearing a baggy, white zipped jacket with gold stripes on the sleeves and baggy blue jeans.

* Wednesday, October 1: at 5pm, two 11-year-old girls reported a man following and running after them along Park Farm Road towards Shaftesbury Avenue.

The man did not attempt to talk to the girls or make any physical contact. He is described as white, 35 to 40 years old, 6ft tall, medium build with broad shoulders, short black hair, wearing a white T-shirt with a yellow symbol on the front and a black hooded or rain jacket with dark jeans. He also had a sleeve tattoo.

* Saturday, October 4: at 9.30am, a 14-year-old was riding his bike through Newlease Coppice when a man dressed in black ran after him. He is described as 5ft 8ins tall, medium build, dressed in all black clothing with a hood on.

Later on Saturday a 14-year-old girl was assaulted on a footpath near Frendstaple Road at around 7.30pm.