Update 2 July 2021: Tower Hamlets police now have one suspect in custody.

Detectives are appealing for the public’s help to identify a man who they wish to speak to after a child was approached and grabbed on his way home from school in Tower Hamlets.

Police were called at 18:42hrs on Friday, 25 June following a report that an unknown man had approached a five-year-old boy as he walked along Brick Lane.

The man is alleged to have followed the boy before trying to grab him by the hand. Fortunately, he was with two other family members and the group were able to get to a family friend’s home to alert the police.

The man was described as being of Asian appearance, aged in his 20s or 30s. He was wearing a navy jumper, black jeans, black trainers and a black hat at the time of the incident.

The boy was not physically harmed in the incident but it would have been scary for him and those with him.

Officers are continuing to provide support to his family.

An investigation is ongoing and detectives have been pursuing a number of lines of enquiry, including a comprehensive search of CCTV cameras in the area.

They have identified a man who they wish to speak to urgently and have released an image in the hope that the public can help to identify him.

Anyone who can identify the man, or who was other information about the incident, is asked to call police on 101 or tweet MetCC, providing the reference 6617/25JUN.

Alternatively, information can be provided to Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Officers are not aware of any reports of similar incidents in the area, but in order to provide reassurance to the community, there will be an increased high visibility police presence at key times in the coming week, including school drop off and pick up periods.

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