Flasher targets schoolgirl in Hove - and the suspect may be linked to two other incidents

editorial image

An 11-year-old girl was confronted by a man who exposed himself to her and then followed her in Hove, police have said.

Investigating officers said the incident happened between 4pm and 4.30pm on Tuesday (March 7) as the girl was on a path in Benfield Valley, linking the A293 and Hangleton Way.

Police added that ‘at one stage he made a grab for the girl, but she managed to evade him’.

The schoolgirl ran off towards the Greenleas football pitches to seek help, and could see the man following her. She phoned her father who came to pick her up.

Police officers made an extensive search of the area but were unable to trace the offender.

He is described as a white man in his late teens or early 20s, 6ft2 to 6ft3 and slim. He was wearing a long-sleeved black top, black jogging bottoms and black trainers.

He was also reportedly wearing a black, peaked woolly hat and a black bandana across his face, which at one stage he pulled aside, disclosing black facial hair. He is also believed to have black hair.

When first seen he was standing beside a bicycle, possibly a mountain bike, police said.

Police have not ruled out the possibility that the incident may be connected to two others in the same area reported on Thursday (March 9).

At 8am two 11-year-old boys were confronted by a man who exposed himself on a footpath just off the Hangleton Road roundabout, according to police.

Then at 3.30pm, two girls walking through woods behind the Sainsbury’s supermarket reported seeing a man who rode past them on a bike, before returning and following them towards Burlington Gardens.

Detective Sergeant Peter Davis said: “Enquiries are continuing and extra patrols have been deployed in the area. We’d ask that any further incidents are reported as quickly as possible on 999 so that officers can attend immediately.”

Any information linked with the incidents can be reported by emailing 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk or online here, with the reference 975 of 07/03.

It is also possible to contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or phone Sussex Police on 101.