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31 August 2011, 05:33 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50
Police have spent the night searching the Arnold area of Nottingham after a woman reported seeing a girl aged between 5 and 6 out on her own just before 9 o'clock.
The girl was seen walking across a pelican crossing in Coppice Road at around 8.45pm.
The woman spoke to the child and didn't seem distressed but she was concerned to see a girl of that age out on her own as it started to get dark.
Police have spent the night talking to people in the area, taxi drivers, business owners and looking at CCTV footage.
The force helicopter has been out this morning.
Chief Inspector Richard Stapleford said:
"We are treating this report very seriously due to the potential vulnerability of the child. It is highly unusual to see a child of such a young age unaccompanied on the streets at that time of night.
"It may well be that she has returned home, but it is important that we identify who she is so we can make sure she is safe and well."
The girl is described as white, around 3ft tall with dark hair tied back in a ponytail. She was wearing a dark coloured kaftan-style dress with three-quarter length sleeves.
Anyone who has seen a girl in the Arnold area matching that description or who believes they know who she is should contact Nottinghamshire Police on 0300 300 9999 and quote incident number 768 of 30 August.