A man picked up a child and tried to walk off with her before putting her down and fleeing into woodland when another child returned in Chesham.

The children - both under the age of 11 - were playing on the grass area in The Bury, close to Pednor Road, when the terrifying incident happened on Saturday afternoon (March 21).

One of the children temporarily left the area between 12.30pm and 1pm, and a man approached and picked the remaining girl up.

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He walked around 20 feet carrying her - before the second child returned and he put her down and fled into woodland.

Fortunately, neither child was injured during the frightening attempted kidnap.

The man is described as white, aged approximately 40, around 5ft 7ins and of an average build.

He was dressed in a coat, believed to be blue or black, a brown t-shirt and was carrying a rucksack.

He also had a distinctive tattoo on his arm of a lion, and was drinking from a green bottle.

Investigating officer, Detective Constable Chris Gould, of Aylesbury police station, said: “I am appealing for witnesses to this incident, which was a frightening experience for a young child.

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“Thankfully, both children were completely unharmed during this incident, but we are appealing for witnesses in order to fully establish the circumstances.

“I understand that an incident of this nature would cause concern within the community, but I would like to reassure the public that it is being thoroughly investigated and the victims are being supported fully.

“If anyone was in the area at this time, and believes they saw something, I would ask them to make contact with police.

“Alternatively, if someone recognises the description of the offender, or believes they saw him at a time before or after this incident took place, then please speak to us."

Call Thames Valley Police on 101, quoting 43200094264 if you can help.

You can also make a report online or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.