POLICE are trying to catch a sexual predator who has been preying on teenage girls in a wooded area in Waterlooville - with fears mounting he could strike again unless he is caught.
Two disturbing incidents took place on Monday between 2pm and 2.30pm where teenage girls were approached by a man who made sexually provocative comments before touching the females inappropriately over clothing at Queens Inclosure.
The assaults followed a similar incident last Saturday at 3.30pm when a teenage girl was left intimidated by a man following her on Hart Plain Avenue who repeatedly asked for her number, though no assault took place on that occasion.
Residents have said it is a concern to hear of the attacks.
Gary Marsh, 61, who has a grandaughter who walks home from Queens Inclosure Primary School, said: ‘It is disturbing to hear there is someone around here doing that. It does make you fear the worst.
A 42-year-old mum, who wished to remain anonymous, added: ‘I wouldn’t even let my teenage son walk in the woods on his own so I suppose you run the risk of this sort of thing happening if you let them go there alone.’
Police officers have warned the public to remain vigilant, especially as the worrying episodes follow a number of similar reports in the area recently.
Chief Inspector Clare Jenkins said: ‘We have now received a number of reports of a man acting suspiciously, inappropriately, and in some cases sexually assaulting young women in Waterlooville.
‘If you live in this area and have CCTV footage which covers the areas where the offences took place, please take a look and if you see anything at all that you think could help please get in touch immediately.’
Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101, quoting 44180298470, or call the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.