Police say a teenager, sexually violated in her home by a bogus truancy officer who had lured her into his car, may have left scratch marks on the offender.
Police are continuing to hunt for the man, aged about 40, who lured the 15-year-old girl into his car by posing as a truancy officer on Hobsonville Rd near the Hobsonville RSA between 12.30pm and 1pm on Tuesday.
The man, who was carrying a clipboard or notebook when he stopped to talk to the girl, said he had to drive her to her home to ensure she was not wagging school.
He drove her to her home and attacked her shortly after she opened her door.
Detective Sergeant Steve Salton, of Henderson police, said the girl put up a fight as the man attacked her.
"She punched him a couple of times and tried to scratch him and may have left scratches on his neck," Mr Saltosaid.
Mr Salton said a more detailed description of the offender was now available after talking to witnesses.
He had been described as a fat or stocky Pacific Islander, aged about 40, about 165cm tall with very short hair.
"He's quite a stocky fellow with not much of a neck. One witness described him as a prop," Mr Salton said.
"His hair was greying, and he was wearing a light blue long-sleeved dress shirt."
The girl, who was interviewed today, also said the interior of the car was light grey and that a Collins Diary was seen down the side of the front seat. The car had been described as a white older-model station wagon.
Police are also looking for the girl's navy school backpack, which the offender took.
Mr Salton said the attack was calculated and that the offender may have knowledge of how truancy officers worked.
He said the girl was not raped but was sexually violated in what was regarded as a serious attack. She was coping well and had the benefit of strong family support.
Meanwhile, the head of the organisation which looks after truancy at 75 west Auckland schools said its officers all carried photo ID.
Waitakere City Improving School Attendance manager Margaret Campbell also said officers were under strict instructions not to pick up students of the opposite sex.
"We will not have male officers picking up female students, and nor will female officers pick up male students," Ms Campbell said.
She said the vast majority of the organisation's work came from referrals from schools, through officers on the road did occasionally approach students who appeared to be truants.
Officers would still stick to the policy of only approaching students of the same gender as them in these cases.
The Ministry of Education today advised truancy services that individual truancy officers should not transport students on their own.
Ministry of Education Early Childhood and Regional Education deputy secretary Rawiri Brell said the advice was designed to reduce the risk to both parties.
"Students need to know that genuine truancy officers will not transport them to school or home without someone else present. Truancy officers will have certainty based on a standard set of practising policies."
The ministry advised truancy services to have clear procedures about the transport of students which were developed after talking to schools, and to regularly remind officers what the policies were.
It said the policy should include identification methods, not transporting students without at least two people being involved, and for officers to immediately contact the student's school in any case of uncertainty or emergency, such as a student in distress.
- NZPABy Alastair Bull