A man has been charged with kidnapping after reports that a teenage girl was grabbed in a park.

Essex Police say the girl was approached near Oakwood Pond in Harlow shortly before 4.20pm on Wednesday, June 15.

She was walking in the park, near Princess Alexandra Hospital, when a man attempted to take her away.

Police say she managed to escape. 

Officers launched an investigation and patrols have been increased in the area since the incident.

Following enquiries, Luis Palma, 29, of Lower Meadow in Harlow, has been charged with kidnapping, sexual assault, and possession of cannabis.

He is due to appear at Colchester Magistrates’ Court today (June 20).

Temporary Chief Inspector Terry Fisher said: “I know this incident will have caused concern in the community but incidents like this are extremely rare and we believe this was an isolated incident.

“A dedicated team of specialist officers and staff are continuing to support the girl and her family.

“If you have any concerns or information about this incident, please contact us.”

Information can be reported to police online or via Crimestoppers anonymously.