A MASKED man who attempted to grab a 10-year-old girl in Great Sankey did so as part of a ‘prank’, say police.

Chf Insp Jon Ward said the person who apparently tried to grab the school girl outside of Barrowhall Lane Primary School was involved in a ‘inappropriate and nonsensical prank'.

He said: “There have been inaccurate rumours circulating in the community and on social networking sites regarding this incident.

“We have stepped up patrols in the area and have spoken to the nearby schools and residents.

“As part of the ongoing investigation we are exploring the possibility that this incident may have been an inappropriate and nonsensical 'prank'.

“I would ask the individual responsible to come forward and speak to officers to help resolve this issue.

“We are keeping an open mind and continue to investigate the incident and appeal for anyone with any information to contact police.”

The girl was walking near to Mayfair Close and Barrowhall Lane at 3.40pm on Monday, November 5, when officers say a masked man, around 6ft tall and wearing dark clothing, tried to grab her.

Parents in the Great Sankey and Penketh area were then sent texts and e-mails to warn of the attempted ‘snatch’.

Anyone with information can call police on 101.