A man accused of approaching children in Woolwich was arrested yesterday afternoon after a disgusted mum phoned the police.

Emma Dalmayne, who runs a special needs group at the Brookhill Children’s Centre, was on her way to work with her autistic children when a stranger approached.

"He bent down and asked my six-year-old daughter where she was from," Emma told News Shopper.

"I asked him why he was asking her that and I moved her behind me before and he looked her up and down."

Emma said the man grabbed her arm when she tried to get by, leaving the young family shocked.

The mother said she felt threatened before adding: "Your parental instincts take over and he was not going to touch my daughter. It was pretty unpleasant."

Emma arrived to work safely and rang the police.

A volunteer at the centre went out to follow the man to Tesco where he was apparently talking to another child.

"He was speaking to another little girl and he told her she was pretty," Emma said.

She said police arrived shortly afterwards to make an arrest.

According to the mum, a "used condom" fell from his pocket once he was handcuffed.

Police confirmed the man, 57, was arrested but that no further action would be taken.

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Emma said her daughter was "really upset" and struggled to process what happened.

It also affected her 11-year-old son who witnessed the incident.

"He is autistic too and he sees himself as his sister’s hero. He couldn’t stop this and he saw his mum grabbed and sister approached.

"I want something put out there and police have warned schools in the area."

She added that the police response was "amazing" and thanked the officers for responding so quickly.

The met statement read:

"Officers attended spoke to the woman who made the call. She alleged the man approached her and her child and attempted to speak to the child. He then touched the woman’s arm. After being challenged, the man walked off.

"Officers arrested a 57-year-old man on suspicion of attempted abduction and common assault - he was taken to a police station. After speaking to witnesses at the scene a decision was taken to release him with no further action."