A WORRIED mum was left frightened after she was “ambushed” by a woman in the street who she feared was trying to take her daughter. 

Mum-of-one Ellen Newby, from Leigh, was approached by the woman in London Road, Leigh, who tried to convince the young mum to go to her home.

However, Essex Police says it wants to reassure families there is no risk to the general public and says the force is not investigating any criminal offences.

It comes as at least three parents issued warnings on Facebook claiming a man and woman were very interested in their children and were acting strangely in Leigh and Southend

Miss Newby, 26, said: “I was walking my daughter Poppy who is three. The woman said how beautiful my daughter is and asked if she was 100 per cent British, and if I and the father are too.

"She asked my daughter’s age which rang alarm bells and told me to go with her and that my child would be fine.

“She kept saying this and there was a man on the other side of the road a bit further down and I think he was Indian too. 

“It felt like a bit of an ambush and I didn’t know why she was saying this. She followed me for about four minutes and the whole thing lasted about seven minutes.

“I felt vulnerable and didn’t know if she was going to take my daughter. She was demanding and it looks like it happened a few times too.”

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “Following reports circulating online about people acting suspiciously in south Essex - particularly around young people - we want to reassure you that there is no risk to the general public.

“We can also confirm that only one incident was reported to us and this concerned a comment a woman made to a child as she walked with relatives in Leigh on Sunday 20 September.

“We have received no other reports concerning her behaviour and there is no criminal investigation arising as a result of that call.

“We understand that the information within the posts would have been concerning and my officers have asked all the information available to them.

"Please continue to be vigilant, continue to go about your daily lives and report any concerns you have to us by calling 101 or by visiting www.essex.police.uk. Always all 999 in an emergency.”