By Renee Bogatko, Image Credit – federicofoto/123rf.com
Police are investigating whether a man charged with indecent exposure has anything to do with a string of suspicious approaches to children across Canberra.
Yesterday morning, a 12-year-old girl walking to school was allegedly approached and spoken to by a man, who exposed himself to her.
She ran off and told teachers at the school, with a 43-year-old Gordon man arrested later that day.
Detective Superintendent Scott Moller said it’s very unsettling.
“Here we are talking about the arrest and it being positive but the victim in particular in relation to this incident has been traumatised and the community gets traumatised by it,” he said.
“I think that any male that approaches a child in these circumstances is disturbing whether they actually touch the child, assault the child, or just talk to them. They’re all disturbing and we take them very seriously.”
Possible links between this man and other child approach incidents are being investigated.
Since February, 18 child approaches have been reported to police.
In another recent incident, a student was approached by a man in a white ute in Wanniassa on Monday afternoon, while waiting to be picked up from school.
Detective Superintendent Moller insists Taskforce Tydeus are working hard to catch those responsible.
“All of ACT Police are involved in this. Taskforce Tydeus are coordinating many uniform patrols that will be visible around numerous schools in our Canberra area,” he said.
Police also have this message for families.
“Stay vigilant. Talk to your children about stranger safety and if you do come across information in relation to one of these incidents, please report it as quickly as you can,” Detective Superintendent Moller said.
Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or email Op-Tydeus@afp.gov.au.