UPDATE: MONDAY, March 13 - Police have confirmed the man who approached the girl was an off-duty police officer.
POLICE are appealing for witnesses after a man identifying himself as a police officer tried to persuade a nine-year-old girl into his car as she walked along the roadside in Hermitage yesterday (Saturday).
Police say the young girl was walking 50 to 100 metres behind her family on the unnamed road joining Slanting Hill to Marlston Road at around 3.45pm.
A small blue hatchback being driven by a man has then passed the family and pulled up next to the girl.
According to police the male has got out of the vehicle and spoken to the girl expressing concerns that the she is not with her family and offered to take her back to them. He has then identified himself as a police officer.
The father of the family has then seen the man and called to his daughter to come back before moving towards her and the car.
The driver has then got back in his car and driven off at a normal speed.
The vehicle was a small hatchback, believed to be a Mazda in baby blue.
Investigating Officer, Det Sgt Richard Vint, based at Reading, said: "We are keeping an open mind in relation to this incident.
"We are appealing to the driver of the baby blue Mazda to come forward to assist us with our enquiries.
"We are also making enquiries internally and with other forces to trace the driver.
"We would also ask anyone with any information to contact us on 101 quoting reference URN 1116 11/3.
"Officers will be in the area to provide reassurance, if anyone has any concerns we would ask them to speak to one of our officers or call 101."
If you do not want to speak directly to the police you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.