Abduction attempt raises alarm

THE attempted abduction of a nine-year-old girl in Bowraville has alarmed parents and residents in the close-knit community.

The girl told police she was grabbed by a man on the arm as she made her way home from school on Wednesday afternoon.

Breaking free from the man’s grasp, the primary school student later told the father of a friend what happened.

Police said the attempted child abduction happened as the girl walked along High St around 3pm.

“It appears the man pulled up alongside the girl in a car and tried to drag her into the vehicle and fortunately the girl was able to break free,” said Mid North Coast Local Area Command Duty Officer Inspector Kim Fehon. Police have released a description of the offender, who is thought to have fled the scene in a silver sedan, possibly a Ford, with dark tinted windows.

Investigating officers are looking for a man described as being of Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander appearance, about 174cm or taller with facial stubble and wearing black clothing.

Police are reviewing closed circuit television vision from local businesses in an attempt to identify him.

“We are also appealing to members of the Bowraville community who may have witnessed the incident or seen a victim matching that description in the vicinity of High St around 3pm,” Insp. Fehon said.

“This incident serves as a reminder to parents to have that ‘stranger danger’ conversation with their children and ensure safety arrangements are made in respect to the picking up and dropping off of their kids at school,” she said.

The incident has alarmed many in the Bowraville community.

A spokeswoman from Bowraville’s Miimi Mothers Aboriginal Corporation said there was concern among local parents.

News of the attempted child abduction spread quickly through the town on Wednesday evening.

Staff at local schools have also been made aware of the incident and the community is urged to report any suspicious activity to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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