A MAN has been spotted 'acting suspiciously' in woodland.

Residents have reported a man acting suspiciously and "following" people in Stoke Park Woods, Bishopstoke.

According to police, locals are "growing increasingly concerned" by the man.

Officers are now patrolling the area regularly and were on the scene "yesterday between 11am and 2.15pm".

Runners are being warned that going out in "daylight is a safer choice".

They are urged to choose a well-lit route, wear bright and reflective clothing, avoid wearing headphones and to take a phone if forced to call for help. 

Police say that anyone who thinks they are being followed should:

  • Cross the road to see if the person does the same
  • Go into a busy public place such as petrol station, pub or shop
  • Call someone to come and meet them
  • Report it to the police at the time of the incident

Further details of the incident have not yet been revealed, however, the Daily Echo has contacted Hampshire Police for comment. 

Posting on social media, a police statement said: "We are continuing to explore all avenues from an investigation perspective and treating these reports very seriously.

"We appreciate that local residents are growing increasingly concerned by the incidents, but we are doing all we can to identify the possible offender. Rest assured that Eastleigh remains a safe place to live and work.

"If you do spot something suspicious, or you’ve been a victim of crime, then we would implore you to report this to the police in the first instance – via our online reporting tool via the Hampshire Constabulary website."

Anyone that sees a crime in progress is urged to dial 999.