A GIRL was assaulted while walking to school in a Hampshire town.

Police have stepped up patrols following the incident, which happened between Weymouth Avenue and Eastbourne Avenue in Gosport.

The 12-year-old victim was walking through an alleyway when a man grabbed her arm and attacked her.

The girl managed to struggle free and ran to safety following the incident, which happened between 8am and 8.15am on Wednesday morning.

A Bay House School statement says: "Please be extra vigiliant about keeping yourself safe.

"Please have the additional safety measures in place of either being in a pair or a group on your way to and from school, or keeping to the main roads."

Officers say the attacker is described as being white, aged in his early 40s, of a muscular build, and was about six feet tall with blonde greasy hair.

He was wearing a dark blue hoodie.

A Hampshire Constabulary spokesman said: "We’re appealing for anyone who saw anything or anyone suspicious in the area around the time of the incident to contact the Eastern Investigation Team on 101 quoting 44170394329."