A MUM has issued a warning after her ten-year-old daughter and two friends were approached by men who tried to make them get into a van.

The three girls were walking home along Hawthorn Avenue in Greenstead, Colchester, shortly before 5pm on Monday when a white van started following them.

It eventually drove past but doubled back when the two men inside tried to beckon the girls in.

But luckily the youngsters did not comply and instead ran to the nearby Co-op store where they knew staff members who immediately alerted their parents and called the police.

Lisa Oconnell’s daughter Mia was one of the children in the group. She said: “They were on their way home as they had to be in at 5pm.

The van had driven passed them, followed them and turned around.

“Then the door was opened and the two men called them over and waved at them.

“This was opposite the library and they then pulled into Almond Way.

“The girls screamed and ran to the Co-op for help.

“One of the ladies there called the police and another rang me to get over there for our contact details.”

Lisa said she was proud of her daughter and her friends - who are all in Year Six - for the way they reacted to the frightening situation.

She said: They were shaking and crying but they did so well and I am so proud of them.

“I didn’t think my daughter listened but this just proves she does.

“You thank goodness because I dread to thinking what could have happened if they had listened and went over to the van.”

Descriptions of the two men have been released.

They were both white. One is described as having short, dark hair while the other was bald.

Anyone with information about the incident - or any similar ones - is asked to contact Essex Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.