Children offered lollies: Police told

PARENTS remain on high alert as police hunt for a man and woman who approached children in Barham in separate incidents on Thursday and made offers of lollies and a lift.

Police issued a statement on Saturday saying that two children, aged nine and 10, were approached by a man in Riverside Park, adjacent to Murray Street, at about 5pm on Thursday. 

Police said the children ran away from the man after he offered them lollies. 

The man is described as being of Caucasian appearance, approximately 40-years-old and 180 centimetres tall with a medium build, fair skin and blonde scruffy shoulder-length hair. 

Following their statement on Saturday, police received a report of a second incident, in which a 13-year-old boy walking along Mellool Street between 4pm and 4.30pm on Thursday was approached by an unknown female, who offered him a lift. 

The woman is also described as being of Caucasian appearance, aged in her 30s, about 170 centimetres tall, of medium build with shoulder length red/brown hair. She was wearing a denim jacket. 

"We have no new information at this point but we're still making enquiries and waiting for CCTV footage to be obtained from shops," Inspector John Aichinger said. 

Inspector Aichinger said both incidents were being treated seriously and investigated thoroughly. 

"Every situation where a child is approached needs to be investigated; we're treating these incidents with the utmost seriousness and giving them our full attention.

"Sometimes incidents where children are approached can be innocent and they can be misconstrued by children, so we need to look at all avenues.

"At this point we haven't been able to establish whether these were innocent child approaches or whether there is an intentional offence behind it." 

Inspector Aichinger said there was no information to suggest the two incidents were related, but there was a possibility the second incident reported to police had been misinterpreted because of increased vigilance following news of the first approach. 

"We're not sure whether one has grown out of the other," he said. 

Inspector Aichinger said police needed to speak to the man and woman involved in the incidents, regardless of whether they had intended to commit offences. 

"If those people come forward and explain what happened, then we can rule out ill-intent, but if we hear nothing, we can only go on what the children tell us and what we can get from witnesses and CCTV footage," he said. 

Anyone with information about the incidents is urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or make a statement at Information can be reported anonymously.

Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide