A 43-year-old vendor is in police custody, after he harassed an 11-year-old school pupil from Suryaville Primary School.
The arrest took place after the child’s parents contacted the school, explaining how the man expressed unwanted attention towards the child.
“He was telling the child how much he liked her and that he wanted to hold her,” the school’s principal said. Concerned about his behaviour, the school principal notified police officers who were visiting the school at the time. The child made a positive identification, leading to the man’s arrest.
While police investigations into the matter are underway, this is the second incident in two weeks where a school child was the intended target of inappropriate behaviour.
The first incident took place in Paradise. In the incident, a seven-year-old child from S.E. Vawda Primary School was allegedly sexually assaulted by an elderly man at the Paradise Sports Grounds. The perpetrator lured the child into the premises with a lollipop, where he apparently proceeded to molest her.
Farieda Mia of Newcastle Child Welfare expressed her concern in the matter, as in both incidents, the children would have seen the culprits on a regular basis.
“Because the children see them regularly, they will not be as uncertain and cautious with them as they will be with strangers. In most sexual abuse cases, the victims know their abusers.”
Due to this, Mia emphasised parents needed to be vigilant. If anyone expresses unwanted attention or too much interest in a child, it is advisable to report the matter immediately.
In some cases, a suspect will groom the child. Grooming involves forming an emotional bond with a child. This is to gain the child’s trust to sexually abuse them or to exploit them sexually. A groomer can be male or female.
Grooming a child can include the following:
- Giving the child a lot of attention
- Offering advice and understanding
- Using their professional position to get closer to the child
- Buying gifts
- Taking a child on trips, holidays or outings
What are your thoughts on matter? What steps do you feel must be taken against sexual predators and paedophiles? How do you think parents can safeguard their children from similar incidents?
Do you believe we need to educate our children more about sexual crimes? Do you think more stringent laws need be implemented?