No link evident with earlier incidents: police

Dunedin police say there is no indication an incident this week in which a young girl was grabbed by a man is linked to the spate of other suspicious approaches in the city.

Officers from the Child Protection Team are investigating the incident in which the man grabbed the primary school-aged girl from behind on a pathway in North Dunedin shortly before 4pm on Monday.

She managed to push the man away and rush back to Sacred Heart School, and was commended by the principal for her bravery and presence of mind during the ordeal.

Police appealed for help from anyone who had information about the incident, or who saw anyone acting suspiciously in the North Rd or Woodhaugh Gardens areas.

There have been at least seven suspicious approaches to school-aged children in Dunedin since September, but a police spokeswoman said there was no indication this latest incident was linked to the other reports.

Police were not in a position to release a description of the alleged offender, the spokeswoman said.

Officers have not released a description of any alleged offenders following reports of suspicious approaches this year, but have not said why.

The spokeswoman encouraged parents to talk to their children about reporting suspicious behaviour.

''Incidents like this are a timely reminder for families to have discussions around behaviours and actions that are inappropriate or that make a child feel uncomfortable, rather than concentrating on the types of people that could harm them.

''We actively encourage people to tell children and young adults to report anything that makes them feel unsafe or uncomfortable.''

-Dunedin police (03) 471-4800, Crimestoppers 0800 555-111.


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