Police are urging witnesses to come forward after reports of a 'man acting suspiciously' in Portswood on Monday night led to widespread speculation on social media.

Rumours were flying around among the University of Southampton student community, with talk of incidents across Southampton including Highfield Campus and near Sainsbury's on Portswood Road.

The university confirmed that the rumours had led to 'a number of students' contacting its security team.

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But it 'quickly established with police that there were no incidents affecting our campus', a spokesperson said.

This comes as Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary set the record straight about what happened.

A force spokesman said they had been made aware of ‘three sightings’ of a man acting ‘suspiciously’ in Portswood Road, Church Lane, and Bevois Valley Road on Monday.

Officers went to the areas and two men were stopped on separate occasions and were spoken to.

No arrests were made, police said.

The rumours circulating online included that armed police had been deployed and that university buildings had gone into 'lockdown'.

But the police have totally refuted these claims: "Firearms officers were not deployed to any of these reports.

"We remain, as always, in regular contact with the university and at no stage did they enact their lock down procedures."

The force said that it had not been contacted by 'any victims or witnesses to any incidents' and urged them to get in touch.

“We need people to come forward if they have been victim of, or witness to, any incidents of this nature," a police spokesperson said.

Following the speculation, police have stepped up extra patrols in the areas where the man was sighted throughout the day to 'help provide reassurance'.

The University of Southampton spokesperson added: “The welfare of our students and staff remains our main concern and we are continuing to reassure them that our campus is open.”

Anyone with information about the incidents can report online on the police website or via 101, quoting 44230464818.