Detectives are investigating two attempted abduction allegations in Havant, which they believe are linked.

The incidents took place in Leigh Park and Emsworth, yesterday (December 18) and this morning (December 19).

Officers were called following the first report that a man tried to grab a 12-year-old schoolgirl from behind at around 1.50pm, yesterday (December 18) in Leigh Park.

The girl was walking along the 'yellow brick road', between Purbrook Way and Middle Park Way, when the man grabbed her arms with both hands and told her to go with him.

The girl managed to break free and ran away.

The man is described as:

  • Tanned skin
  • About 40-50-years-old
  • About six feet tall
  • Round shaped face
  • Blue eyes
  • Black, thick, short hair, about 1cm long
  • He had a recent scratch on his left cheek
  • He had a northern accent
  • At the time of the incident he was wearing a thick, black coat, down to his knees and light blue jeans, which were tucked inside muddy, steel toe cap boots.

In a similar incident in Emsworth at about 8.30am this morning (December 19), a man attempted to grab an 11-year-old boy in Southleigh Road, Emsworth. 

The boy was about to cross the road when a man got out of a red van and grabbed the boy's wrist.

The boy shouted, screamed and pinched the man.  The man let go and the boy ran away across the road into the traffic causing several cars beeped at him.

The boy described the man as:

  • Tanned skin
  • Late 40s
  • At the time of the incident he was wearing jeans, with a hole in the knee and black boots.
  • The van is described as dark red, with rear sliding door with blacked out windows.  There were lights on the front and around the roof of the van.

While both the boy and girl were not harmed in any way, they were understandably shaken.

Police are searching both areas, conducting house-to-house enquiries and working with the children and their families.

Detective Inspector Jeff Hugget, from Waterlooville CID, said: "I would like to reassure the public that we are working hard to identify the man responsible and have increased police patrols in the areas, particularly around school times.

"We would like to hear from anyone who may have been in either of the areas around the times stated and in particular anyone who witnessed either of the incidents.  We would also like to hear from anyone who recognises the man from the descriptions given.

"Both children did the right thing by running away and raising the alarm. I would like to ask parents to remind their children of the stranger danger message and to report any incidents to us."

Police would ask the public to remain alert but not alarmed, and inform us of any suspicious behaviour. Contact us by phoning 101.