Police would like to speak to this man (Image: Met Police)

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A five-year-old boy was grabbed by a man in an attempted abduction as he walked from school, police say.

Detectives are appealing for information and have released a CCTV image of a man they would like to speak to following the incident in east London.

Police say the schoolboy was walking in Brick Lane, Tower Hamlets, when he was followed by a man who tried to grab him by his hand on June 25 at around 6.40pm.

Luckily the boy was with two other family members who managed to intervene before seeking refuge at a friend's home and alerting police.

The youngster was not physically harmed but is said to have been shaken up by the "scary" incident.

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

Police investigating the incident have scoured CCTV footage in the area and released the image in the hope that he can be identified.

There have not been other reports of an attempted abduction, but police patrols are being stepped up in the area – especially during the school run times – to reassure the community.

Anyone who can identify the man or was other information is asked to call police on 101 or tweet MetCC, providing the reference 6617/25JUN or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.