A stranger tried to lure a seven-year-old girl away from her home, prompting her mother to voice a stark warning to parents.
The little girl was kicking around a football on a playing field near Chestnut Grove, Grantham, on Saturday afternoon when the man approached and tried to lead her away.
Her mother, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “She came running in, she was absolutely mortified.
“She said he kicked her football and asked her to go around the corner and play with him.”
The mother called the police immediately, and rang round neighbours to warn them.
She said: “The police were absolutely brilliant, they came round straight away and did searches of the area.
“But my daughter told the police officer that he’d went away down an alleyway, which leads on to a big field by the A1. So there are many ways he could have gone from there.”
Concerned for the safety of other children, the mother wants to warn parents in case the man tries to entice another child away.
She said: “I want other parents to be aware, especially now it’s the summer holidays. Really, really keep an eye on your children.
“If my daughter hadn’t been clever enough to come in the house, if I had disregarded it and just said ‘go back out and play’ I would never have forgiven myself if he’d come back, or taken another child.”
Lincolnshire Police spokesman James Newall reiterated the warning to parents. He said: “Clearly, this child did the right thing in going home.
“If you haven’t already, please talk to your children about ‘stranger danger’ and give the appropriate advice.”
The man is described as being in his 20s/30s, fairly tall with scruffy, spiky brown/black hair and wearing a white t-shirt and white shoes/trainers.
If anyone saw someone fitting the description on the Earlesfield estate around the time of the incident, at 6.30pm, they are asked to call police on the non-emergency 101 number. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.