Police have released CCTV shots of a man sought over the attempted abduction of a 12-year-old girl in Christchurch.

The 12-year-old phoned police alleging that a man had grabbed her arm and tried to kidnap her Beckenham School on Sandwich Rd at about 12:20pm yesterday.

Detective Sergeant Phill Sparks said the girl managed to break free from the man.

"She was quite upset by the incident but has done everything right by getting away from the man and phoning police," he said.

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The suspect is described as caucasian, approximately 1.8m tall, of medium build with very short brown or blond hair.

Police appealed for the man pictured in CCTV footage taken around the time of the attempted abduction to come forward.

If you have any information about the incident, contact Mr Sparks on 03 363 7400 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

- Herald Online staff