15 Jan 2017

Child indecently assaulted at holiday programme

1:22 pm on 15 January 2017

A child has been indecently assaulted at a school holiday programme in Central Otago, police say.

School child and mother

Photo: 123RF

Police said staff at the programme noticed a man talking to the child in the playground at Alexandra Primary School on Thursday.

His behaviour seemed suspicious so staff called police, Detective Sergeant Brian Cameron said.

A 56-year-old man had been arrested and charged in relation to the assault and will appear in court next week, Mr Cameron said.

The child was not injured and did not appear to have been adversely affected by the incident, he said.

It appeared to be an isolated incident and police were not seeking anyone one else.

Mr Cameron thanked the local community for the information they provided to assist in identifying the man.

The Ministry of Social Development, which runs the school holiday programme, and the Ministry of Education have been advised of the incident and subsequent arrest.

With school starting back shortly, it was timely for parents to discuss how to keep safe with their children, Mr Cameron said.

That included:

  • Discussing behaviours and actions that are inappropriate or that make them feel uncomfortable, rather than concentrating on the types of people that could harm them
  • Encouraging children and young people to take action when they feel unsafe or uncomfortable.
  • Making it easy for children to talk to parents about anything that is bothering them
  • Listening carefully to what children say