A two-year-old boy was nearly abducted in Sefton Park after a woman tried to lead him away in "every parent's worst nightmare", police said.
Officers are investigating after it was alleged a woman grabbed the wrist of the toddler and tried to pull him away in broad daylight on Sunday afternoon.
Police said the attempted abduction took place at about 2.50pm near the bandstand, as many people will have flocked to the park to enjoy the good weather.
As the suspect allegedly attempted to lead the boy away, his mother intervened to stop.
Police said: "The child's mother screamed at the woman and she left on foot in the direction of the Palm House, away from the cafe."
The boy, fortunately, was uninjured but the mum was left "distressed".
Detective Inspector Simon Hurst said: “Thankfully the child’s mother was alert and screamed at the woman, who made off. This incident is every parent’s worst nightmare, and will have been absolutely frightening to experience.
“We know that many people were in the area and, even if they didn’t witness the incident itself, may recognise the woman described. If so, please let us know and pass any description to us, as well as any CCTV, dashcam or mobile phone footage which may have inadvertently captured her image in photos or videos taken today in the area.
“I’d also like to assure people, who will be understandably worried, that we take any reports of this nature extremely seriously.
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We’ll act on all information provided and are absolutely determined to find this woman and ensure that no such incidents happen again.”
The suspect is described as a woman in her 50s, olive-skinned, 5ft tall, of medium build and with dark hair in a ponytail.
She was wearing a pale pink long-sleeved hoodie, grey tracksuit bottoms and trainers, and is described as unkempt and walking with a limp. CCTV enquiries are ongoing.
Anyone with information is asked to contact @MerPolCC or 101 quoting reference 20000425775 of 19 July. You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or via their online form at: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/give-information.