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Police spotted in Ipswich park after man ‘grabs child from swing’

PUBLISHED: 15:16 09 February 2019 | UPDATED: 12:40 10 February 2019

Play park near Gainsborough sports centre, Ipswich Picture: ARCHANT

Play park near Gainsborough sports centre, Ipswich Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

Officers have searched the area around an Ipswich park following reports a young child was taken out of a swing.

Police were called shortly after 12.30pm to reports of an incident involving a man and a three-year-old child in a park near Gainsborough Sports Centre in Brazier’s Wood Road.

The man, believed to be in his 60s, reportedly entered the park while “shouting and waving his hands”, before attempting to take a young girl from one of the swings.

A spokesman for Suffolk police said it is believed the man may be vulnerable and his intentions were not thought to be malicious.

He said extra patrols were carried out in the area, but attempts made to locate the man were unsuccessful, adding that a police presence would remain in the area this afternoon.

The spokesman added that there was no attempt to take the child away from the location.

However police are continuing to monitor the situation.

The man in question is described as white with a red blotchy complexion, wearing a dark jacket and a woolly hat.

The girl’s father, Andrew Roberts, 47, said he took his daughter back before phoning the police.

He said the incident had been upsetting for his children but he didn’t think the man meant any harm.

“It all happened so quickly,” he said.

“I was in the park with my three kids – they age from three up till nine.

“I saw this guy come running towards the gate.

“He let himself in, and he comes straight in, grabs my daughter out the swing and picks her up.

“I go over and take her off him. The whole thing takes not even 30 seconds.”

Mr Roberts, who lives in Ipswich, said two women followed behind and attempted to restrain the man, but he brushed away from them and ran in the direction of the fence.

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