A grandmother has raised the alarm after her 12-year-old granddaughter escaped what she called an “attempted kidnapping”.

The woman says a man “grabbed” her granddaughter by the arm while she was alone on Celeborn Street, South Woodham Ferrers, earlier this morning.

She posted on Facebook: “A man has just tried to take my granddaughter by force top end of Celeborn Street.

“Police are being called. Please keep your children in or in groups.”

She added: “We are still waiting for police to come. He grabbed her arm told her she’s pretty and beautiful. She pulled away and ran.”

A police spokesman said: “We were called shortly after 12.10pm on Wednesday February 19 with reports a man had approached a 12-year-old girl in Celeborn Street, South Woodham Ferrers, at around 10.30am.

“She ran off and was unharmed. Enquiries are ongoing. Anyone who saw what happened is asked to call 101 quoting incident 480 of today’s date.”