POLICE will be beefing up patrols in Popley tonight following a suspicious incident near Marnel Junior School.
Hampshire Constabulary said that at 3.15pm on Wednesday, a 10-year-old boy was approached by a man near the Shetland Road school.
It is believed that the man tried to put his arms around the boy from behind, but the boy carried on walking towards to his mum who was nearby, and they continued to walk home.
The boy did not see where the man went.
He is described as white, aged about 30, 6ft tall, with light-coloured hair. He wore black trousers with yellow stripes, and a black top.
Detective Inspector Phil Raymond urged witnesses to contact police.
He said: “There is likely to have been many people in the area at this time, picking their children up from school, so I would like to hear from anyone who may have seen something or recognise the man as described.
“Please be reassured that we will investigate this incident thoroughly and keep the local community as informed as we can. There may be a completely innocent explanation for this incident, so if you know anything please contact police immediately.
“Officers will be conducting reassurance patrols in the area this evening.”
Anyone with any information should contact Basingstoke CID on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.