POLICE are searching for a sexual predator who allegedly approached four girls and started masturbating in front of them in two separate incidents at Coffs Harbour yesterday.
In the first incident, police say two 14-year-old girls were walking east along the Park Beach Walking Track at around 4pm when they were allegedly approached by the skinny man who asked if he could walk with them.
The girls turned around and saw the man performing a lewd act.
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT
They ran from him, but the man followed the pair until they reached an open field at the end of the track, near Harbour Drive.
Terrified, the girls continued to run home where they reported the incident to their parents.
Then, around 30 minutes later police say two 11-year-old girls were playing in a tree on the same walking track when the same man approached them and performed the same lewd act.
The man ran from the area when the mother of one of the children walked towards the tree.
Police from Coffs-Clarence Local Area Command are searching for the man described as being aged in his 20s with a skinny build and dark brown hair.
He was reportedly wearing a grey shirt, beige or brown-coloured knee-length shorts, and green and black Nike-brand runners at the time of the two alleged encounters.
Police are urging anyone with information in relation to these incidents to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Meanwhile, the incident has again prompted police to encourage parents to discuss the ‘Safe People, Safe Places’ messages with their children, including;
- – 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. Walk near busier roads and streets, or use paths where there are lots of other people.
- – 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 and can use a phone, call 000 and tell them you are scared.
- – If someone tries to grab you, yell out, ‘Go away, I don’t know you’. This lets other people know you have been approached by someone you don’t know.