Attempted child abductions on the rise
Concerns are growing as unsavoury behaviour towards children by men in cars continues across Auckland.
On Wednesday morning, a man in a vehicle allegedly approached a school pupil in Ponsonby. Police are questioning a suspect after they were called to an intermediate school in the inner city suburb at 8.40am.
‘‘The victim quickly left the area and told a teacher what has happened,’’ police said.
‘‘We are interviewing a man in relation to this incident and we cannot rule out the possibility of charges being laid.’’
This comes as safety concerns grow around West Auckland communities after a string of reports of attempted child abductions.
Recently, a young girl noticed two vehicles stalking her on the way to school but when she pulled out her cellphone they quickly sped off.
The 14-year-old was walking alone on Tuesday morning along Rosier Rd, Glen Eden to get to a bus stop. She noticed a white car stalking her slowly, driven by a man.
Then she saw a white van with dark window tints and a ‘‘black strip down the side’’ follow up slowly on the other side of the road, also driven by a man.
They kept close enough to her that she saw the driver of the car signal to the van driver.
But she pulled out her cellphone to call her dad and both vehicles sped off, her mother Ann Webster said.
A report was made to police who responded and patrolled the area.
Webster was ‘‘sad’’ that their neighbourhood felt unsafe and concerned the incident happened near Prospect Primary School.
Associate Principal Nick Shaw said the school has additional staff out before and after school, in high-vis vests, walking the streets in the immediate surrounding areas.
Inspector Scott Webb, of Waitakere, said they had received an increased number of reports of approaches made to children since the first case where an 11-year-old boy was abducted and sexually assaulted in Ranui. He said they could not say if one report was related to another.
‘‘At this stage we believe the increased reporting is attributable to increased vigilance following this case and we are encouraged that members of the public are providing us with this information.’’