SCHOOLS across Hampshire are on alert after a spate of incidents in which pupils were targeted by people acting suspiciously.

One of the incidents occurred at Hamble Primary School yesterday, when a masked man stood next to a playground and exposed himself to pupils on their lunch break.

He fled after being approached by a member of staff and police were called.

Head teacher Nicola Rickman alerted other schools in the area and also sent parents an e-mail in which she said she was "shocked and saddened" to learn of the incident.


Mrs Rickman added: "A man approached the fence next to the junior playground and exposed himself to the few children that were playing nearby.

"We immediately called 999 and would like to make all parents aware, especially if you have children who would usually walk home alone or play in the park after school.

"The parents whose children were involved have already been informed and we have also informed the other schools."

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Mims Davies, Tory MP for the area, said she was "appalled" to learn of the incident, adding: "This is shocking behaviour and I urge anyone with information about the identity of the perpetrator to contact Hampshire Constabulary.

"It's important children feel safe when they’re at school, or travelling to and from it.”

It comes just days after three pupils at Oasis Academy in Southampton were followed by a man on their way to school.

Two girls and a boy, aged between 11 and 14, were targeted as they walked through an underpass near Sainsbury's in Romsey Road, Lordshill.

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Meanwhile Noadswood School in Dibden Purlieu has issued a warning to a man asked a 12-year-old to get into his van as she walked along Forest Front, Hythe, on Monday. She refused and ran off.

The incidents are not being linked but three at or near Hampshire schools in such a short space of time is bound to cause concern.

Last night Cllr Stephen Reid, the county council's executive member for education, said: "I would urge schoolchildren to observe common sense rules and never do anything that could put them in danger. If they're approached by a stranger they should always report it."

The Netmums parenting website includes a list of dos and don'ts which aim to keep children safe.

In a message to youngsters it says: "If you find yourself in danger always run towards shops or other busy places with lots of people. If you think you are being followed, go into a shop or knock on the door of a house and ask for help."

Anyone with information about the incident at Hamble Primary School should call Hampshire police on 101, quoting incident 348.

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