At­tempted child ab­duc­tions on the rise

Central Leader - - WHAT’S ON - BROOKE BATH AND ALEXAN­DRA NEL­SON

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.’’

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