POLICE revealed today (December 19), they are investigating two attempted abduction allegations, one of which was in Emsworth.
The incidents, which police believe are linked, took place in Leigh Park yesterday, and Emsworth today (December 19).
In Emsworth at about 8.30am, a man attempted to grab an 11-year-old boy in Southleigh Road.
The boy was about to cross the road when a man got out of a red van and grabbed his 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 having tanned skin, in his late forties and, at the time of the incident, he was wearing jeans with a hole in the knee, and black boots.
The van he drove was described as dark red, with a rear sliding door with blacked out windows. There were lights on the front and around the roof of the van.
Police are searching both Emsworth and Leigh Park, conducting house-to-house enquiries and working with the children and their families.
The incident in Leigh Park saw officers called following a report a man tried to grab a 12-year-old schoolgirl from behind at around 1.50pm.
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.
She described him as having tanned skin, about 40 to 50 years old, about six feet tall, with a round shaped face, blue eyes, black, thick, short hair about 1cm long, he had a recent scratch on his left cheek, and 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.
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 them of any suspicious behaviour by phoning 101.
Anyone with information is asked to call Waterlooville CID on 101. Alternatively call the anonymous Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.