Sargent Steve Hales of the South West Safer Neighbourhoods Team said:

“We were called at around 11:30am on Friday, the 2nd of February, by a member of the public who said they had seen a dog, believed to be an XL bully, attack some children in Latchmere Recreation Ground.

“We attended the scene within a few minutes and found the children, who were all safe and unharmed. The dog, who was not on the lead and was not wearing a muzzle at the time of the attack, had already left the park with its owner.

“We understand this will be very worrying for local residents but I would like to reassure you that we are working hard to locate the dog and its owner.

“The owner of the dog is believed to be a black man aged between 25-35 years. He was wearing a black tracksuit, a black Canada goose jacket with a white fur hood and black, Nike trainers. The dog was grey with tan features.

“We encourage anyone who has any information to get in touch by calling 101 and quoting CAD 2864/2Feb. You can also post on X @MetCC or contact us anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”