POLICE are hunting a pervert who tried to assault a young boy inside the public toilets on the Arndale Centre car park.
The attack happened last Tuesday at around 4pm as the boy, who is aged 12, went into the toilets during a trip into the town centre.
Police believe the man was planning to carry out a sex assault on the boy but fortunately he managed to struggle free and ran away. Officers are now appealing for help to catch the would-be sex offender before he strikes again.
They are also appealing for a witness to come forward. He may have vital information as he was in the toilets moments before the attack took place.
This week DS Paul Broxson, of Accrington CID, said the offender may have committed similar offences before. He said: "This may not be the first time this man has committed such an act. We want to appeal to anyone who may have been a victim to come forward.
"I understand they may be reluctant to do so because they may feel embarrassed but I would urge them to contact us to help us stop this man before he does this again. If we don't I dread to think we could be dealing with worse consequences."
He said the boy was left distressed by the experience but was unharmed. He reported the incident to staff in the Arndale Centre who contacted the police.
The offender is described as white, in his 50s and between 5'6'' and 5'8'' tall. He was wearing tinted glasses, a green jacket and a beige baseball cap.
Anybody with any information about the incident, or who recognises the attacker, should contact Accrington CID on 353740 or Crimestoppers, free and in confidence, on 0800 555 111.