Students approached by strangers
THE visit of Daniel Morcombe's parents to Rockhampton next week to raise child safety awareness has taken on extra relevance following two incidents in Frenchville in recent days.
The Morcombes' message will strike a chord with parents and students across Rockhampton after police yesterday issued a warning following two separate reports of approaches by strangers to young school girls near the Frenchville State School this week.
On both occasions the girls, aged 12 and 10, ran to safety.
About 8.30am on Monday a girl, 12, ran to an Eichelberger St address after being approached by a man near the school.
The following morning another girl, 10, ran to the school after two men approached her about 7.30am.
Rockhampton police Inspector Darren Sommerville said officers from the Child Protection and Investigation Unit were investigating.
He said the strangers made no attempt to lure either girl away and neither was assaulted, however, the incidents were concerning.
“It's concerning that we have two incidents in close proximity to the school,” Insp Sommerville said.
“The girls have been approached by people who are not known to them.
“We ask students to walk in pairs or groups and not to walk alone.
“They should run to a place of safety if anyone they don't know approaches them.”
Police were still compiling a description of the strangers yesterday.
Limited information was available, with the first person described as a Caucasian man, about 35 years old.
The two in the second incident appeared about the same age, 35, with one of Caucasian appearance and the other indigenous.
Education Queensland's CQ regional director Wayne Butler said the school contacted the students' parents and the police immediately after both incidents.
“Letters were sent home to parents regarding both of these incidents, and reminded parents to discuss safe travel strategies with their children,” Mr Butler said.
The department has informed other schools in the area too.
The students involved have been offered counselling.
Denise and Bruce Morcombe will visit Emmaus College next Tuesday as part of a road trip from Brisbane to Cairns to raise awareness on child safety as part of Child Safety Week which starts on Sunday.
What to do
Parents are urged to take extra care ensuring their child’s safe travel to and from school.
Students are urged to walk in pairs or groups and not alone.
They should run to a place of safety if anyone they don’t know approaches them.