POLICE are appealing for information after a man tried to grab a young girl while she was out playing with her friends.

The nine-year-old was out on Friday evening in East Wichel when a man believed to be in his late 20s tried to grab her from the street.

The incident happened at about 8.15pm when the girl was standing on the corner of Brentfore Street and Yelland Walk.

While her friends went to a nearby house to get a drink, the young girl waited for them outside.

A man then pulled up in a red van and approached the girl before grabbing her wrist.

The girl managed to break free and run towards her friend’s house where the police were alerted.

The girl was not injured during the incident but has been left shocked.

Community Beat Manager Rory Draper said: “This was a frightening experience for the young victim and we are conducting a number of enquiries to identify the man responsible, and increasing patrols in the area.

“This is an isolated incident and fortunately the victim was not injured.”

The man is described as white, in his late 20s, of medium build and approximately 5ft 9in tall.

He was wearing a black woollen hat, a black hooded zip up top with two front pockets, dark blue baggy combat style jeans and black and white Nike trainers.

The vehicle is described as being similar to a red Transit van.

Local residents have been left surprised by the incident, which took place in a quiet neighbourhood within the Wichelstowe development.

One woman, who wished to remain anonymous, has two children of her own and said it was worrying.

She said: “This is not something you want to hear when you have young children of your own.

“I am hoping it is a one off incident, and hope that the girl is ok.

“We moved here because we thought it would be a safe area for the children to be able to go out and play.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact PC Sean Magee at Gablecross Police Station on 101 or on Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, where information can be left anonymously.

Anyone who would like personal safety advice can contact their local Neighbourhood Policing Team or visit www.wiltshire.police.uk