Watch your children


A man has tried to lure a 9 year old girl from QLD’s Tickle Park into his car with promises of a kitten.

POLICE are investigating witness reports that a man tried to lure a nine-year-old girl to his car on the promise of seeing his kitten. Coolum Police Station officer-in-charge Hardy Wirth confirmed police were dispatched to Coolum Beach’s Tickle Park yesterday after a witness came forward.

The incident at 3.30pm involved a man aged 25-30, Mr Wirth said. He “approached the young girl at the toilets here at Tickle Park and asked her to come and look at his kitten, to try and provoke or entice the young girl to come with him”, he said.

The man had dark, curly hair, a fair complexion and freckles, and was wearing a dark beanie with skulls on it. “We had a witness come and see us today in relation to it, who provided a further description of the male person,” Mr Wirth said.

The witness’ friend had been taking photos at an unrelated event. “We’re hoping we’ll pick up a photo of the suspect from that,” Mr Wirth said. Mr Wirth said the incident was suspicious and officers were trying to locate the man “in relation to his actions”.

“Mum and dad were in Tickle Park having a good time – whether the girl’s walked off, I don’t know – or gone to the toilet,” Mr Wirth said. The event comes seven months after a four-year-old child was allegedly sexually assaulted at the same toilet block at Tickle Park.

A woman who saw the incident is appealing to Sunshine Coast parents to be wary. “Parents, please, please watch your kids!” Coolum Beach resident Raina O’Brien posted on the Sunny Coast Community Board Facebook page yesterday afternoon.

“This afternoon a man wearing a black hoodie, black shorts and black skull beanie tried to entice…a girl to his car at Tickle Park Coolum with the promise of a kitten. “The same man also tried to get into a toilet cubicle that a different child was in.”
Mr Wirth said it was essential that witnesses come forward immediately to police. “We didn’t get a report of this until about five o’clock and it happened about 3.30,” he said.

Wirth said that while he understands that there were often good reasons for a person delaying a report to police, including trauma and shock, people who see something suspicious and want to help should call police immediately.

This so called man must be caught and fast, the above article was cut and pasted from Sunshine Coast Daily to preserve the integrity of the facts.

So what can you do about kidnappings ?

Well first thing you can do is be very vigilant with your kids. DO NOT let them go to public toilets alone, as they seem to be the focal point for kidnappings and sexual assaults.

Secondly have a conversation with your kids about potential dangers without scaring them.

Tell them that no matter what happens you will NEVER send a total stranger to pick them up from school.

Even if the person knows their name and says they are friends with Mum and Dad, do not go with them. Teach them to go to the office if they are ever in doubt during school time pick up. Some families use a code word for emergencies should they ever need to send an unexpected person to pick the kids up. Of course it is preferable to ensure that your children know who will be picking them up beforehand, but this is not always possible, so a code word can be helpful in these situations.

Have a conversation about the difference between ‘nice’ people and ‘good’ people. People can seem very nice and still be very dangerous. Anyone can appear to be nice but it doesn’t mean they are good or trustworthy people.

Someone who appears to be nice may offer to show you their puppy or kitten, or ask for help finding their pet, like the person in Tickle park did, or even offer you lollies. As there is no way of knowing their true intentions, they could be lying so the perfect response from a child in any of these situations is to say, “No thank you” and run and tell your parents. If it is someone asking for help they can say I’ll go get my mum/dad to help you” and again run and tell your parents or carers.

Also be aware that children can be targetted or selected online, so always read your children’s chats, know the games they play and know if they have acquired expensive items that can only be bought in the store for real money. Online predators often buy kids expensive items to gain their trust and to make them feel special this is the start of grooming them.

Teach your kids that they should never give out personal information no matter what. No one online needs to know where they live, go to school, or even their real name. No one needs to see a picture of them, or your credit card (seriously, a bigger problem than you think) and no one needs to know your phone number.

A lot of grooming happens online by people who seem ‘nice,’ and it can very easily turn to requests to meet in person. “Hey I bought you all those V bucks, so you can at least meet me and say thank you.” So don’t be afraid to go through your kid’s friends lists and group chats, ask them “who is this, do you know this person in real life”

Vigilance is the only way we can stay one step ahead of these monsters, always know where your kids are and never think it’s wrong to read their online conversations or know who their friends are !

We can only hope this guy at Coolum is caught and quickly, we also hope that the young girl gets over her ordeal quickly and as always if anyone knows her, please let her know that the FACAA Phoenix program is open to her.

Sadly, there are people in our society who are not what they appear to be, people in positions of trust who are anything but trustworthy and people who seem nice but have evil intent. It can be difficult for adults to know the good from the bad, for children it can be near impossible to know when someone is grooming them. So it is our job as parents and carers to help them…. tonight’s post was a good excuse for us to have this conversation and we encourage all the parents and carers out there to have these conversations, not just once, but on an ongoing basis.

The best protection we can offer our children against predators, is education. It’s up to us to educate ourselves and our children.

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