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22 September 2014, 06:03
Police are investigating reports of a man behaving suspiciously towards three children in Southampton.
An eight-year-old girl, her 13-year-old brother and a second 13-year-old boy were playing together near houses in The Compass in ST. Mary's at approximately 6pm on Friday (19 September).
The girl's mother contacted police after the eight-year-old had run home to tell her that a man she did not know had put a hand on her head and spoken to her briefly.
She was not injured, but the incident left her frightened and upset.
The same man is also reported to have talked to her brother briefly while the 13-year-old was riding a white bicycle. There was no physical contact with him.
Police are visiting and patrolling the St. Mary’s area to conduct house-to-house enquiries.
Initial information received suggests that a silver car, carrying a number of people wearing similar clothing, pulled up and stopped near The Compass.
A man left the car and approached the children.
A further lead is that the man was seen meeting an adult woman nearby, kissing her hand, and then walking off with her towards an alleyway that runs next to St. Mary's Church minutes later.
Detective Sergeant Will Whale of Shirley CID said:
"We'd like to thank the children and their families for reporting these events to police. Officers remain in contact to provide support and reassurance.
"There is no information to suggest the man had a criminal motive for approaching the children. However, we’re treating the report seriously while keeping an open mind about the circumstances. There are no links to other known cases or crimes.
"A key line of enquiry is establishing any other sightings of a silver car being driven in the St. Mary’s area on Friday evening (September 19).
"Anyone who saw a vehicle matching this description - or who may have been travelling in the car itself - is asked to contact police.
"Following enquiries at the scene, we're continuing to appeal for members of the public if they saw or heard these events in The Compass at around 6pm on Friday, September 19, particularly the adult woman seen with the man.
The man's description is:
Aged in his 30s
He was wearing a red cap with black stripes, a grey top, and carrying a bag or back pack.
The woman was described as:
5 ft tall
Slim small build
Shoulder length brown hair
She was wearing a purple/blue chiffon dress, and orange/pink jelly shoes.
These people, witnesses and anyone else with information are asked to contact CID at Shirley Police Station by phoning 101. Mini-com users can phone 18001 101. Information can be given anonymously by phoning the independent Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.