Police investigate after strangers approach children

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POLICE are investigating after two children were approached by strangers in separate incidents.

The first happened on Thursday, May 2 when an 11-year-old boy was walking along Mays Lane towards St. Mary’s Road between 4pm and 4.30pm.

A man he didn’t know, who was driving a white van, stopped and asked if the boy wanted a lift. The boy turned down the offer, and the motorist drove away. The boy was not threatened and there was no physical contact between them.

The second incident occurred on Tuesday when a nine-year-old girl said that she was approached by two men in Finisterre Close, Hillhead. The girl was not harmed.

Detectives are appealing for anyone who saw a young girl walking in pink checked pyjamas trousers and a dark-coloured top in the Stubbington area between 8.30pm and 9pm on Tuesday to contact police.

Police sought to reassure parents today as they sought information about the incidents.

A Hampshire Police spokesman said today: ‘A number of reports have been made to police over the last week that have caused members of the public concern.

‘The police are taking reports seriously and there are matters that the police are actively investigating to identify any suspect and ensure there is no risk to the public.

‘The first report occurred on Thursday, May 2 when an 11-year-old boy was walking along Mays Lane towards St. Mary’s Road between 4pm and 4.30pm. A man he did not know, who was driving a white van, stopped and asked if the boy wanted a lift. The boy turned down the offer, and the motorist drove away.

‘The boy was not threatened and there was no physical contact between them. No criminal motive or offences have been confirmed at this time. There could be an innocent explanation for what happened.

‘The second report occurred on Tuesday, May 7, when a nine-year-old girl has said that she was approached by two men in Finisterre Close, Hillhead. The girl was not harmed. Detectives are appealing for anyone who saw a young girl walking in pink checked pyjamas trousers and a dark coloured top in the Stubbington area between 8.30pm and 9.00pm on Tuesday, May 7 to contact police.’

Investigating officer Detective Inspector Gary Hill said: ‘We are urging anyone who may have seen a girl matching that description to please come forward.

‘We would also like to speak to a woman who was walking a Dalmatian dog in the area of Seafield Park about that time.’ ‘We are urging anyone who may have seen a girl matching that description to please come forward. We would also like to speak to a woman who was walking a Dalmatian dog in the area of Seafield Park about that time.

‘Specialist police officers are speaking with the children to establish more details, and provide support to them and their families.

‘Officers and PCSOs from dedicated local Safer Neighbourhoods teams are visiting schools in the area to reassure local communities speak with parents, children and teachers, and provide information and advice. Fareham and Gosport.’

District commander Chief Inspector Darren O’Callaghan said: ‘Police are in the early stages of enquiries, and there is no evidence at the moment to confirm a link between these reports or any other events.

‘I would like to thank members of the public for reporting this information to the police promptly. While the exact circumstances are investigated, police are asking the public to remain alert, but not alarmed; advising parents and schools to remind their children of the stranger danger message, and to report any incidents to us as soon as possible.’

Anyone with information is asked to contact CID at Fareham Police Station by phoning 101. Mini-com users can phone 01962 875000. Alternatively, call the independent Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111 if you wish to remain anonymous.