1. ITV Report

Girls run for help after driver tries to drag them into his van in Essex

The girls were approached at Mary Ruck Way in Black Notley Credit: ITV News Anglia.

A man tried to drag a young girl into a van in Essex after telling her and a friend to get into the vehicle.

Police said the two victims, who were both aged under 10, were approached while on Mary Ruck Way at Black Notley near Braintree.

A red van pulled up alongside them at about 6.15pm on Tuesday, April 24.

The driver asked them to get in and then tried to drag one of the girls into the vehicle. They ran away and found help.

Police said they searched the area a short time later but could not find the van.

The victims said the man was in his 30s to 40s and wore a hooded jacket, a baseball cap and dark glasses. He had a tattoo of a skull and cross bones with a red slash across it on his right hand.

The van is thought to have had an unofficial Royal Mail logo on the side.

"These incidents are rare, and we understand that this can raise concern in the local community.

"The girls did exactly the right thing by running to a place of safety and letting someone know what had happened to them.

"We are investigating to establish the circumstances of this incident, and are carrying out a number of enquiries to try and trace any vehicles that may have been involved. "We want to reassure everyone that we always take reports like this very seriously."

– Det Insp Rob Kirby, Essex Police