Residents have spoken of their fear as a manhunt has been launched after a stranger attempted to abduct a young girl in broad daylight in their road. 

Neighbours have told of their shock days after an 11-year-old girl was approached by a man with distinctive tattoos in Briery Way, in Amersham – just yards from a nursery and a junior school – on June 11.

The schoolgirl was approached at around 3.15pm – when neighbours said the road is often busy with parents on the school run – and the man asked her to get in his car.

He was disturbed by a hero passer-by, who stepped in and advised the girl to go home.

Those living in the residential road said the terrifying incident happened in an alleyway that runs behind the houses and criticised the area for being a “prime spot” for attackers because it is “overgrown and dark”.

Debbie Woodbridge, who lives close to the alleyway, said she was terrified when she heard what happened because she has a young grandson.

She said: “It has scared the life out of me. I phoned my daughter to just tell her to be careful. And one of the first things I did was go round to my neighbour’s house to warn him because he has two young children.

“Something needs to be done about the alleyway where it happened because it is so overgrown – anything could happen and it doesn’t bear thinking about. It is so horrible down there.

“You never know what it going on behind there. At least if it was all chopped back and open, neighbours would know if something was happening. 

“The police can only do so much, they do the best they can with their resources, but something needs to change.”

Police officers and PCSOs were seen patrolling the alleyway and the surrounding areas on Wednesday afternoon.

Desmond Grace, who also lives in the road, said he was distressed when he heard the news and saw police in the area.

He said: “No one likes to hear about things like this happening where you live. It is really upsetting, especially because there is a school so close by.

“We didn’t know about it at the time, but police came down here and were knocking on people’s doors. It’s not nice at all.”

Another neighbour, who did not want to be named but worked at a school, added: “This road is usually really quiet except at school times, when there are lots of people here picking up their kids – usually there are a lot of mums around. You wouldn’t expect anything like this to happen round here.”

The man who police are searching for is described as a white man, bald, in his forties, with distinctive facial tattoos and piercings – one tattoo is described as a leaf shape on his forehead and pattern down side of face toward neck. He spoke with a London accent.

The attempted abduction was reported to police on June 17.

If you have any information relating to this case, call 101 quoting reference 43180183267.