We reported the incidents on the 18th November and police have now released an update.
The incidents have been reported between November 17 and November 25 and each time the child has described that a man in a car has approached them as they have been walking, and asked them if they wanted a lift or tried to engage in conversation with them.
Incidents have occurred on:
• Newtown Road, Southampton,
• Satchell Lane, Hamble-Le-Rice
• Wildern Lane, Hedge End
• Lower Northam Road, Hedge End
• Hamble Lane, Bursledon
• Ashley Crescent, Southampton
• Sholing Road, Southampton
• Middle Road, Southampton
• Wakefield Road, Southampton
Both boys and girls have been approached. On each occasion, they have done the right thing by reporting it to their parents or the school.
Incidents have occurred in the morning before school, or on their way home after school. The Wakefield Road incident, however, occurred on a Saturday.
No child has got into a vehicle or been hurt in any way.
Officers from both Southampton and Eastleigh are working with the schools in these areas and have increased patrols.
Hampshire police said;
“We want to reassure you that we are investigating the reports.
We would like to reassure parents that we are taking these reports seriously. Not every report has been the same and therefore we are looking at all lines of enquiry to identify similarities in the descriptions of the car and man that have been provided.
We know there may be similar reports of suspicious incidents that have occurred in other areas of Southampton. We continue to regularly review all similar incidents to identify patterns as part of the ongoing investigation process.
We understand that these kind of incidents are very concerning for parents, schools and children. It is important to stay alert but not alarmed, remind children that they should not get into anyone’s car, or go with anyone they do not know, and to report the incident to us as soon as possible.”
Police are seeking further details and ask that anyone who has seen the vehicle or incident in the area make contact with officers.
The advice remains clear. Ensure you speak to your children about the dangers of talking to strangers, and if approached do not get into any vehicles. Seek help from an adult, preferably also with children and call 999. If possibly ensure children are accompanied to and from school.
Use the link to teach younger children about “Stranger Danger” and other safeguarding.