Police are investigating a report of a child approach on Thursday afternoon (11 October) in Lyons, which is the 20th child approach since February.
Around 4:40 pm, a man called out to several young children who were in an enclosed playground, in an attempt to coax them toward him. The children immediately reported the incident to staff.
The man is described as being 50-60 years old with a dark complexion, brown eyes, black hair, and a long dark coloured beard. He was wearing a dark coloured suit with vertical stripes, a beret, and carrying a white shopping bag.
The man was last seen walking towards Lyons shops following the incident.
Anyone with information in relation to this incident is urged to contact police.
Police said Taskforce Tydeus, which was set up to investigate the spate of child approaches across the ACT and Queanbeyan, is reviewing all reports of child approaches received since February and are asking anyone with information to email Op-Tydeus@afp.gov.au.
Police would like to remind everyone to help our children understand the importance of stranger safety and the importance of reporting any unusual approaches immediately on 131 444 or in the case of emergency 000.
ACT Policing’s stranger safety tips, which can be found on its website, include:
- Stay close to a grownup and hold their hand when you are out
- Know your name, address and phone number
- Don’t speak to adults you don’t know
- Don’t take toys or food from people you don’t know
- Always stay with your parents or a friend
- If you get lost find someone you can trust wearing a uniform like a police officer or shopkeeper
- If a stranger makes you feel unsafe, tell a trusted adult straight away.
If you become aware of an incident or notice anyone acting suspiciously around a school or child, contact police immediately on 131 444 or in the case of an emergency call 000.
The quicker police can respond to an incident of this nature, the quicker they can target the area and surrounds to locate possible offenders.
Police are urging anyone who may have any information that could assist police to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, or via the Crime Stoppers ACT website. Please quote reference 6269577. Information can be provided anonymously.