POLICE have put on extra patrols and a council leader is urging vigilance after an attempted abduction in Gosport.
The additional officers are in place in areas where suspicious behaviour has been reported after a 12-year-old was grabbed on Thursday.
As reported in The News, the girl was on her way to school in Lanyard Drive, Gosport on Thursday at 7.30am when a white man in his 30s driving a silver car got out the vehicle and grabbed her before she managed to shrug him off and run away.
Fareham and Gosport district commander Chief Inspector Darren O’Callaghan said no arrests had been made yet but said he was thankful for the information sent in so far.
‘Heightened awareness has led to an increase in information passed to police, but it is important not to jump to conclusions or rely on rumour,’ he said.
‘Responsible public vigilance and swift reporting of information to the police are always appreciated so officers can establish the facts and take further action when necessary.
‘I recognise that there is understandable concern about these reports, and police welcome the substantial support of families, schools and local authorities in highlighting sensible advice and established fact.’
He added that there remains no evidence to connect this week’s incident to a similar incident when a man got out of a silver car driven by another man and assaulted a 17-year-old girl in Conifer Grove, Gosport, on Thursday, January 10.
Detectives from CID are working on intelligence about suspects and vehicles, and specialist officers are working with children and vulnerable witnesses.
Leader of Gosport Borough Council Councillor Mark Hook said people need to remain vigilant.
‘People should use open areas which are well used,’ he said.
‘Walk with friends or people that you know. There’s obviously safety in numbers at the moment.
‘Unfortunately, there’s been a couple of them but they are isolated incidents – nevertheless young people should still be on their guard.’
James Stallard is a trustee at Rowner Community Trust in the Nimrod Community Centre in Nimrod Drive, near to Lanyard Drive.
He said: ‘All we’re doing is advising people to watch their children and be sensible about things.
‘It has come as a shock to everyone, it’s not something you hear about.’
Call 101 if you have information.