A PASSERBY came to the rescue of two young girls in a park who were approached by a male stranger who called them “beautiful”.
Police have launched a probe after Daniella Allen, who was in Gloucester Park with her young son on Thursday, saw the man speaking to the girls.
The girls, believed to be around 11 years old, told Mrs Allen the man called them “beautiful.”
She then walked the two girls home “for their own safety”.
The incident comes as police investigate a string of sexual assaults in Basildon.
However the force says it is not linking this incident to three sexual assaults and one other assault on a woman in Basildon between February 5 and February 15 this year.
The man was described as black, and wearing a brown overcoat.
Mrs Allen said: “The girls were worried and scared.
“As he approached them he called them beautiful.
“I walked both girls home with my little boy to make sure they weren’t being followed as they didn’t want to go alone.
“I want to make parents and young women know as they said he was lurking in the bushes around the park.
“I tried to look for him but I didn’t see where he went.
“I will be going back to the park to see if he’s there again. I’m going to be down there every day after three.
“They need to catch him.”
Essex Policeurged the two girls and their family to get in touch with the force.
A spokesman said: “We were called with reports of a man approaching two girls in Gloucester Park, Basildon, between 4pm and 5pm on Thursday February 25.
“The caller reported that the girls had spoken to her after being approached by a man unknown to them who tried to talk to them.
“The two girls left the man and walked towards a skatepark, where they met the caller who helped them to return home.
“The man, who is black, was wearing a brown raincoat. We have reviewed the report and it is not currently being linked to a series of incidents which have seen women being approached by a man in Basildon.
“However, we would appeal to the two girls and their families to make themselves known to us in order to achieve a more accurate report of the incident.”
Anyone with information should contact police on 101.