Please attribute to Detective Inspector Scott Beard, Auckland City Police:
Police are investigating an incident in St Heliers this morning where a man has attempted to a grab an 11-year-old girl on her way to school.
A man had been following the victim for around 200 metres on St Heliers Bay Road. When she arrived at her school the man has come up from behind her and grabbed her. She has managed to break free and has run into her school.
This has happened between 8am and 8.20am. The victim has reported the matter to a teacher and police have been notified at approximately 9.30am. She was not injured but is obviously shaken by what has happened.
It is not known if the male had a vehicle nearby.
The man involved is described as having light brown skin, with brown/grey hair with a bald patch on top. He is possibly in his 40s, tall and of solid build. He has a cut on the top of one of his wrists and an eyebrow piercing on his right eye. He was wearing a blue top with short sleeves and black pants, possibly track pants.
Detective Inspector Scott Beard wants to reassure the community that police are treating this matter seriously and have a number of officers making enquiries.
“We are currently in the processing of carrying out area enquiries, and will be seeking to obtain and review available CCTV footage in the wider area. Officers will be carrying out extra patrols in the area before and after school for the rest of the week to reassure the community.”
“It is commendable that the young girl told an adult about what has happened.” says Detective Inspector Beard.
“Police acknowledge that any incident of this type is concerning to parents, but we can reassure the community that we are doing everything possible to investigate the circumstances.”
“We continue to encourage parents to talk with their children about how to get to and from school safely and we also continue to encourage people to report any suspicious behaviour to Police straight away.”
Anyone with information can contact Auckland City Crime Squad on 09 302 6832, alternaitvely, you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Shelley Nahr/NZ Police