Schoolchildren in Hampshire are being urged to walk home in groups or with their parents after a 13-year-old girl was followed by a man.

Police patrols have also been stepped up in Portchester after the incident.

The youngster was walking home from school at around 3pm on Monday along Southampton Road in Portchester when she realised a man was following her.

The man, described as white, chubby build, under 50-years-old and with short dark hair, stopped following the girl as she walked down steps into Dursley Crescent in Paulsgrove.

He did not attempt to speak to the girl or approach her.

Schools in the area have been made aware of the incident.

PC Marc Norris, who is investigating, said: “Fortunately this was a rare, isolated incident, however we are advising children to walk home from school in groups or with adults, where possible.

“We would like to hear from anyone who may have witnessed the incident, or recognises the man from the description.”

Anyone with information should contact Cosham police station on 101.