14 Sep 2018

Police not releasing descriptions in suspicious child approaches

5:00 pm on 14 September 2018

Dunedin police are not releasing descriptions of suspects or vehicles involved in a series of suspicious approaches of school children in the city.

Police generic

Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

Police have confirmed they are investigating four approaches which have all occurred within kilometres of each other.

The first was in the western hill suburb of Halfway Bush on Tuesday last week.

A man in a vehicle approached a girl on her way to primary school, but left when a member of the public intervened.

On Monday morning another primary school-aged girl was confronted by a man in a vehicle while on her way to school in the neighbouring suburb of Wakari.

On that occasion the man attempted to lure the girl into his vehicle by saying he wanted help looking for a lost puppy. However, she refused.

Then two separate approaches of children on their way to school on Tuesday morning, one in Wakari and another in North Dunedin, were reported to police.

Police have not released any details relating to those two incidents and have ignored RNZ questions relating to them.

RNZ understands the child from Monday's incident was interviewed on Wednesday, but police are still declining to provide any details about the offender or his vehicle.

In a statement Inspector Matenga Gray said: "Dunedin Police are continuing to make inquiries into reports of suspicious approaches across the city".

"We treat these matters seriously and alongside our investigations we have increased the frequency of patrols around schools. We reiterate the recommendation people be alert but not alarmed as our inquiries continue."

Local media reported on another incident in which a nine-year-old boy was startled by a vehicle he felt was following him while walking home from school in Balmacewen Road on Monday afternoon.

Police have not linked any of the incidents, but have not ruled out that some or all may be connected.