A MAN picked up a two-year-old girl and ran away with her in an attempted kidnapping today, police have said.

The incident happened when a woman and her two-year-old daughter were approached by two men who showed an interest in the dog they were walking.

Hampshire police said one of the men then picked up her daughter and ran with her towards a nearby housing estate.

The child was let go after the dog bit the man on his leg.

Police are appealing for witnesses following the incident between 10.40am and 10.50am on The Mount, in Ringwood.

Police have increased patrols in the area today and the young girl, and her mother, are being supported by specialist officers.

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The two men were white, in their late 30s, about 5ft 7ins tall, and were wearing caps.

One was wearing light blue jeans and the other had dark jeans.

Detective Inspector Janine Bradley, said: “We fully appreciate that this incident will have a significant impact on the community, and we want to reassure the public that we are taking this report very seriously. Our officers are carrying out extensive enquiries in the local area – including house-to-house visits, scoping CCTV and there will be high-visibility patrols in the area to reassure the community.

“If you see our officers and have information pertaining to this incident, then please do speak with them.

“This occurred in a residential area, during broad daylight, and we would implore anyone who may have seen or heard what happened to come forward. Perhaps you are aware of someone who has today suffered a dog bite to their leg? Any information, no matter how small or insignificant you believe it to be, could really help aid our ongoing investigation and identify those responsible.

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“Likewise, we would like to ask local residents to review any CCTV or doorbell camera footage that they may have which may have captured the moments leading up to, during or after the incident, to make contact with us.”

Anyone with information is asked to please call 101 quoting 44220185316 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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