POLICE in Liverpool have appealed for the public's help to trace two women "from Northern Ireland" who allegedly attempted to snatch a local mother's baby.
Kathryn James was pushing her 10-month-old son in a pram along Goodison Road in Walton when the incident occurred shortly after 3pm on Tuesday.
The young mum – who was with friend Chelsea McManus at the time – had been on her way to Arnot Saint Mary Primary School when a black Vauxhall Astra pulled up next to them.
Chelsea told the Liverpool Echo: "The car pulled up alongside us and a woman in the back started to speak to us both out the window.
"She said they had just come over from Northern Ireland this morning and were looking for young mums with babies to start selling Avon in the area.
"As she was talking, we noticed the woman in the front of the car had opened the door and was trying to pull the pram towards her to grab the baby".
Kathryn and Chelsea managed to pull the pram back towards them before the car drove off.
Although Kathryn's baby was fine and wasn't touched, she and Chelsea were left "extremely shaken" by the incident.
Chelsea added: "My friend and I were left really panicked by the whole thing, you never think people would be that obvious.
"It's really concerning that they are lurking around the primary schools.
"Thankfully the school her kids go to put a lot of work into 'stranger danger' so most will know better."
'Blonde woman with Irish accent'
Merseyside Police have confirmed a description of the woman in the rear passenger seat – who is not believed to actually be affiliated with Avon – as "a blonde woman who spoke with an Irish accent".
Detective Inspector Tracey Martin said: "We take reports of suspicious incidents of this nature extremely seriously and information has been passed on to all local patrols and community officers.
"Our community officers have contacted local schools for reassurance and we are carrying out high visibility patrols in key areas at key times.
"The woman in this case did exactly the right thing in reporting the matter promptly to police, and we would encourage anyone who witnessed this or any similar behaviour to contact us, and remain vigilant."
Anyone with information is asked to call Merseyside Police on 101 quoting incident reference 19100303889, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online here.