POLICE are appealing for witnesses after an 86-year-old woman was thrown to the floor and mugged.

The incident happened on Thursday as the pensioner walked alone down Wellington Street, Nelson.

As she approached the junction with the rear of Clayton Street, a woman stopped her and asked her for the time.

After the victim replied, she was grabbed and pushed to the floor.

The attacker stole her handbag and escaped down the rear of Clayton Street.

Police described the attacker as white, in her 30s, of medium build with shoulder length brown wavy hair. She wore a red jacket and had a local accent.

Coun Nadeem Ahmed, who represents Whitefield Ward, said: “This is a very sad incident and the culprit needs to be caught and punished.

“The crime figures in the ward are generally low but these sorts of incidents to do not help at all.

“Though this is a worrying event, the people of Whitefield do not need to panic, because it is uncommon.

"I hope police find the attacker and bring her to justice.”

Pendle CID are urging anynone who saw the incident to contact them.

Detective Sergeant Stephen Holgate said: “This is an extremely upsetting incident where a vulnerable elderly lady was targeted.

“It happened on the edge of Nelson town centre near a busy medical practice.

“I am appealing to anyone who witnessed this incident or who has knowledge of who this offender may be to contact Nelson CID on 01282 472644.”