AN investigation is underway amid reports a school pupil was reportedly dragged towards bushes by a man.

Police are appealing for any witnesses to the incident to come forward but no arrests have yet been made.

Officers were called to Stifford Road between Aveley and South Ockendon yesterday to reports of an assault.

A spokesman for Essex Police said it had been reported a girl had been grabbed by a man around 5.10pm.

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The girl was not injured but police say she was understandably shaken.

She is being supported by specialist officers and enquiries are ongoing.

DS Natalie Roberts, of Grays CID, said: “This will of course be concerning for residents and parents but please be reassured that incidents of this nature are rare.

“Our detectives are working around the clock to follow all leads in the investigation and officers from our Community Policing team will be conducting patrols in the area.

“If you saw anything, or have any CCTV, dashcam or doorbell footage we need you to contact us.

“Even one small detail could help us identify the man involved.”

The man is described as wearing a dark coloured hoodie and blue jeans, and may have been travelling on a push bike prior to the incident.

If you have any information you can submit a report online at or use the 'Live Chat' button to speak to an online operator between 7am-11pm.

Quote incident 831 of November 24.

You can also call police on 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.