A 15-year-old schoolgirl was grabbed by a man as she cut through a Blackpool park on her way to school.
The youngster had been making her way to St Mary’s Catholic College when she was grabbed on the arm in Stanley Park shortly after 8.15am on Monday.
Police said the girl had noticed a man acting suspiciously shortly after leaving her home near Whitegate Drive.
As she made her way down Woodlands Grove, police said the victim felt uneasy and decided to take the shortcut through the park.
But as she entered the path between the golf course and the lake, the man tried to grab hold of her.
However, the girl managed to struggle free and run to school where she reported the incident to teachers.
Detectives investigating the incident are now appealing for people walking alone in the park to ‘take extra care’.
Det Sgt Chris Sanderson, of Blackpool CID, said: “I would ask people not to panic as incidents like this are extremely rare.
“However, I would urge people to take extra care when walking alone through the park.”
The attacker, is described as white, around 40-years-old, and about 5ft 8ins tall. He has a bald head, stubble and has a chunky build.
He was wearing black trousers, a light blue shirt and a waterproof jacket.
Det Insp Tony Baxter appealed for anyone who witnessed the incident to come forward.
He said: “I would appeal to anyone who was in the area on Monday or on previous occasions, and who may have witnessed this man acting suspiciously to come forward and contact the police.
“Any suspicious activity should be reported to the police .”
Anyone with information should call Blackpool police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.