Teen lied about abduction attempt

THE teenage girl at the centre of Friday's alleged abduction attempt in Park Beach lied to police and made up the story of how she was approached by two men.

Police yesterday appealed for calm in Coffs Harbour after finding out the girl, 13, gave false information.

The girl told staff at her school she was approached by the men as she walked to school on Park Beach Rd on Friday about 8am.

She said they grabbed her and led her down a bush track and tried to undress her, before a man walking past intervened and she ran off.

Acting Coffs-Clarence Local Area Commander, Superintendent Cameron Lindsay, said when police questioned the girl, it became clear she was not telling the truth.

"Detectives going through her version of events highlighted a couple of discrepancies and once this was put to her she admitted she made the story up," Mr Lindsay said.

"The motivation behind the story is yet to be determined."

Police were informed of the incident on Friday morning and a major investigation commenced, however, police have since discovered the girl lied.

The 13-year-old will now be questioned further by police about the false report.

News of the incident came a day after police warned parents that predators may be lurking in Coffs Harbour after several approaches towards children in recent weeks.

Mr Lindsay said even though Friday's incident was false, parents needed to remain vigilant about child safety.

"In recent weeks, police have ensured that parents and children have been kept up to date whenever there has been an allegation of a suspicious approach to a child," he said.

"We want the community to be aware of any potential dangers and for parents to reinforce the Safe People, Safe Places messages with their children.

"Parents and children need to be aware of personal safety issues - but without becoming unnecessarily fearful.

"We are appealing for everyone to be sensible - there is no place for rumour, speculation or hysteria.

"Members of the community also need to be aware that making a false report can result in court proceedings and possibly a criminal record.

"Examining the circumstances behind a report which then turns out to be false is also a waste of police resources."

 

The Safe People, Safe Places message includes the following safety tips:

  • Avoid walking on your own and instead walk with other family members, friends or an adult you know.
  • Walk near busier roads and streets, or use paths where there are lots of other people.
  • Make sure your parents or another adult you know knows where you are at all times.
  • Always walk straight home or to the place you are walking to.
  • Know where safe places are - a shop, service station, police station, library or school.
  • If you are ever frightened, you should go to one of these places and ask them to call the police.
  • Learn about safe adults you can look for and talk to if you need help - police officers, teachers at school, adults you know and trust.
  • Don't talk to people you don't know and never get into a car with someone you don't know.
  • If a car stops on the side of the road and you don't know the person inside, do not stop.
  • If you are scared, call 000 and tell them you are scared.
  • If a person who approaches you attempts to physically grab you, yell out "Go away, I don't know you". This tells other people, you have been approached by someone you don't know.


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