Parents warned after suspicious white van parks up near school on Auckland's North Shore

Police were called by a member of the public regarding a white van parked near Birkdale Primary School on Auckland's North Shore. Photo / Google
Police were called by a member of the public regarding a white van parked near Birkdale Primary School on Auckland's North Shore. Photo / Google

Parents have been warned about a "suspicious" white van parked near a school on Auckland's North Shore.

Inspector Scott Cunningham of North Shore Police said they received a call from a member of the public at 8.15 this morning to report seeing a white van driven by a man parked on Salisbury Rd, Birkdale, near Birkdale Primary School.

Cunningham said police did not find the van when they went to the area.

"Officers carried out a search of the area making enquiries to locate the van, and spoke with community members across the wider area."

He said police have since identified the vehicle's owner, and that "efforts to locate and speak with the driver are ongoing, to establish why the van was parked there, and whether it was for a genuine and reasonable purpose".

Concerned parents took to social media to share a messaged passed on by Birkdale Primary, which alerted parents and caregivers to an alert from police about a "white Toyota van with tinted windows acting suspiciously around our school". The van reportedly has no front number plate.

Parents and caregivers at Verran Primary School in Birkenhead were sent the same message, asking parents to report any sightings of the van to the school and police.

The warnings come after a young girl was apoproached by a man in a white van while walking to school in nearby Northcote on Wednesday morning. Cunningham said police enquiries into that incident were ongoing.

"We take reports of suspicious approaches to children seriously and appreciate the community vigilance in reporting any suspicious behaviour, however we would like to reassure people that child abductions by strangers in this country are very rare, and statistics show that sadly, our children are more likely to be harmed by a person known to them," Cunningham said.

- NZ Herald

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