11 Sep 2018

Police probe latest suspicious approach to child

2:57 pm on 11 September 2018

Dunedin police are investigating another suspicious approach of a child on their way to school.

Police generic

The latest approach to primary-school aged children was reported to police by the child's school. Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

The latest incident happened about 8.30am today in North Dunedin.

It followed two approaches of primary school-aged girls in the hill suburbs of Wakari and Halfway Bush during the past week.

Police said this morning's suspicious approach occurred in the area of Warrender St and George St.

Detective Sergeant Dylan Ross said officers were still piecing together what took place.

The incident was reported to police by the child's school about 11am, he said.

He reiterated that parents should not be alarmed, but be aware of what was taking place. He said they should be talking to their children about steps to keep themselves safe.

Yesterday, a man approached a girl on her way to primary school in the hill suburb of Wakari.

He attempted to get her in his vehicle by saying he was looking for a lost puppy, but the girl refused.

It followed a similar incident last Tuesday in the neighbouring suburb of Halfway Bush.

On that occasion the man drove off after a member of the public intervened.

"Anything like this is always concerning and alarming for parents," Mr Ross told RNZ yesterday.

"But it's important that the best thing we can do is equip the children to deal with situations like this.

"Police are making significant efforts to identify that person so they can be spoken to."

He did not rule out the possibility that the incidents were linked and enquiries were ongoing.

"I wouldn't confine our concerns to one particular part of town, as we know this person's in a vehicle," he said.

"Clearly the concerning time is that period going to school in the morning and perhaps immediately after school.

"They're the times that parents should be really alert - 'Where is my child? Who are they with?' Even if your child can walk to school with a friend in a pair that's going to significantly decrease their vulnerability."

Anyone with information that could help should contact Dunedin police on (03) 471-4800.

Alternatively, information could be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800-555-111.

Mr Ross said police wanted to hear of any other suspicious activity.