Titahi Bay on alert
Titahi Bay parents are on alert because four children have been invited into strangers’ cars since July.
No child got into the cars, but parents have posted warnings on a Facebook group for Titahi Bay School parents.
On July 28, a 9-year-old Titahi Bay School pupil was approached at 5pm by strangers in a green station wagon.
The boy was biking in Dimock St between Downes St and Main Rd when the driver, a young man, offered him a ride home.
He told the driver to stop following him and raced home, his mother Loreena Dawson said.
‘‘ He was shocked when happened.
‘‘For a while we didn’t want our children to go anywhere unless they were with someone.’’
In early July two intermediate girls were invited into a green station wagon, after which Titahi Bay School sent a note home to parents about stranger danger, Mrs Dawson said.
Last Tuesday, a 13- year- old Aotea College student was walking home along Titahi Bay Rd at the Takapuwahia traffic lights when a blue- grey car stopped next to him.
A man and a woman signalled for the boy to hop in, the boy’s mother, Liz Smith-Lee-Lo, said.
The boy refused the offer and told his parents as soon as he got home.
Ms Smith-Lee-Lo has another son at Aotea and two children at
it Titahi Bay School.
She said she had informed Aotea about the incident and had reinforced stranger danger to all her children. Her son was doing well. ‘‘He’s good. He knows what to do next time.’’
Police had visited the family last week and had been conducting drive- bys of the Bay, Ms Smith-Lee-Lo said.
Titahi Bay community constable Hemi Tito said he was aware of only the incident with the girls, but said there was no need for parents to panic.
‘‘As far as I’m aware, it’s not out of control.’’
Mr Tito would not name any areas for children to avoid, but repeated advice about children walking familiar routes and walking with other children.
If children felt threatened they should go to the nearest house for help or run home and tell an adult, Mr Tito said.
Titahi Bay School deputy principal Deborah Malcolm would not comment on the issue, but Titahi Bay North School principal Steven Caldwell said his pupils were frequently educated about stranger danger.
‘‘Safety is paramount. We tend to spend a bit of time on it,’’ he said.
He, too, had heard only of the first incident, but if more children were approached he would warn all parents, he said.
‘‘ If there was something we would consider a direct threat, then I would send a letter to parents.’’
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