Police silent, citing desire for calm

Police are refusing to reveal if they have received more reports of suspicious behaviour around Dunedin children, saying they want the public to remain calm.

There have been four confirmed reports of suspicious approaches to primary school-aged children in Dunedin since last Tuesday.

A police spokeswoman yesterday refused to divulge if they had received further reports of suspicious behaviour around children in Dunedin, citing a desire not to alarm the public.

Officers were interviewing children who said they had been approached in such a manner, she said.

Police have repeatedly refused interview requests regarding the spate of incidents.

In a supplied statement, Otago coastal acting area commander Matenga Gray said the investigation had been accompanied by increased patrols around schools.

"We reiterate the recommendation people be alert but not alarmed as our inquiries continue."

Waiting outside Wakari Primary School yesterday afternoon, parent Jennifer Richards said the suspicious approaches had spurred her to escort her 9-year-old son home rather than let him walk alone.

She commended the proactive communication from the school about the incidents.

"We've been really well-informed."

The first reported approach of a primary school-aged child happened in Three Mile Hill Rd, Halfway Bush, about 8.30am last Tuesday.

A member of the public intervened and the man drove away.

The second incident was on Monday morning in Shetland St, Wakari, where a man asked a young girl to enter his vehicle to help him look for a lost puppy.

The third happened in Balmacewen Rd about 3.15pm on Monday, when a vehicle began following a 9-year-old before the occupants moved to open a door, causing the boy to run home in a panic.

He described the vehicle as a dark blue people-mover with silver-hubbed wheels, a dent on the boot, tinted windows and white-stickered writing on the back

The latest approach confirmed by police was near the intersection of Warrender and George Sts about 8.30am on Tuesday.

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