Police are hunting a man who tried to grab a child in Gosport.
Hampshire Constabulary revealed details of the incident today as they sought to reassure parents about reports on social media of a series of suspicious incidents in the town.
A force spokesman said: ‘Officers have received reports of five incidents in which children were approached by unknown adults across the borough in June so far.
‘In four cases no criminal offences were identified. One of those was about an incident in March; the latest was reported yesterday.
‘In one case, police are investigating reports of a child being grabbed by a man while playing by Exeter Court off Howe Road around 7.30pm, Tuesday, June 16.
Inspector Clare Jenkins of Hampshire Police said: ‘We take all reports of this nature very seriously and understand and appreciate people’s concerns.
‘With the hot weather we’ve had it’s great to see so many people of all ages able to enjoy spending time outside.
‘With that, I would always urge parents and other concerned adults to remain alert but not alarmed and keep a look out for your children and others’ as you would do normally.
‘If you spot something that gives you cause for concern, please do contact the police either on 101 or 999 if it’s an emergency.
‘Talk to your children as well about what they can do to keep themselves safe while out and about playing. It’s worth sharing this information with friends and family on your social media networks.
‘The majority of calls we’ve received in Gosport this month are to reports of concerns about people acting suspiciously but they have not amounted to criminal offences and there is nothing to suggest a link between them.
‘In one case, however, it has been reported to us that a man did attempt to grab a child who was playing with friends near Exeter Court. We have been investigating this incident, talking to the community about it and focusing patrols in the area to try and identify the suspect. If anyone has information about this incident, I would urge them to contact us.’
Police said anyone with information about the incident should contact them on 101 quoting reference 44150204140.
They urged people to view the advice on personal safety on the Hampshire Constabulary website as well as advice from the NSPCC about keeping children safe.