POLICE continue to appeal for information following an attempted abduction in Sydenham on Tuesday (February 5).

A nine-year-old girl was on her way to school at around 8.30am when she was approached by a man in Thorpewood Avenue.

He attempted to get her into a nearby vehicle but she managed to escape and raise the alarm.

The suspect is described as white, aged between 20 and 40, and of medium build.

He was wearing a green padded coat, blue jeans and a black cap.

The vehicle is described as a large blue vehicle with a large scratch on the bonnet.

Lewisham police officers carry out daily school patrols and they have increased the number of patrols in the area because of the recent incident.

The borough commander Chief Superintendent Russell Nyman said: "I understand that the community will be concerned about this recent incident and I want to reassure parents and carers that we are treating this extremely seriously.

“Officers are working hard to identify the suspect wanted in connection with this attempted abduction and enquiries into this incident continue.

"We have increased engagement with primary schools in the borough.

"I am appealing to the community to come forward and assist us, with any information, no matter how small that may be, that will help us with this investigation.

“Incidents such as this are very rare, but when they do occur we treat them very seriously."

And investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Greg Pople said: "Whilst we do not wish to cause alarm amongst those in the local area I would ask the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to us.

"I would also ask parents to take the opportunity to remind their children how to stay safe and not to speak with strangers.

"We would equally encourage anyone to alert police immediately by calling 999 if they are approached."

Anyone with information can call Lewisham CID on 020 8284 8324 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.