Civic leaders have spoken out after two men were arrested for a ‘serious assault’ of a 14-year-old in Andover.

The incident, which took place around 15:15 on July 20, has seen two men arrested on suspicion of wounding with intent, while the boy was taken to hospital following ‘cuts to his face and neck’.

Andover’s MP, and policing minister, Kit Malthouse, said he was following up the incident with local police, telling the Advertiser: “This is obviously a deeply disturbing incident and I applaud the police for their swift action. I am in touch with the local Chief Inspector and the investigation is progressing.

“I am working flat out with the police across the whole of the country to drive down violence and increase public safety, and while we are turning the tide, there is obviously still a long way to go.”

Meanwhile, Sarah Jones, the headteacher of Roman Way Primary School, said that children and families were being offered support following the incident, which coincided with the end of the school day.

She said: “Yesterday’s incident was shocking and extremely upsetting. Owing to the timing, it was unfortunately witnessed by a number of children and their families as they were making their way home and we fully appreciate the distress this will have caused.

“We have the skills and specialist expertise in place to support any of our pupils and their families who need help to deal with any resulting worries or anxiety. We have written to the families in our school community to make them aware of the help we can offer and advised them to contact me if they have any concerns whatsoever.

“In the meantime, we very much hope the young person who was injured makes a good recovery and that the perpetrator is brought to justice.”

Cllr Tracey Tasker, who represents the area on Test Valley Borough Council, reassured residents that there was no ongoing risk to their safety.

She said: "I was shocked and saddened to hear of the horrific incident that took place near Roman Way school. A huge thank you to the emergency services and to all those who helped and assisted. Whilst the victim has suffered serious injuries, I’m glad they’re not life threatening, and I hope he makes a swift recovery.

"I have been informed that there is no perceived wider threat to the community and additional police patrols have been organised. I also understand the school have held an assembly to assist and reassure the pupils."

Police continue to investigate the incident, with anyone with information asked to call 101 quoting the reference number 44210286966.