Police and Maori Wardens are out on the streets of Mangere as a teenager appears in court charged in relation to a sex attack.

The 14-year-old was due to appear in Manukau Youth Court this morning facing one count of indecent assault against a 29-year-old woman.

Four daylight attacks, one of them the rape of an 8-year-old girl, have been committed in an alleyway that runs behind Nga Iwi Primary School in Mangere.

Police said yesterday they could not say if the incidents were related.

Today they are out on the streets, particularly after school.

Detective Senior Sergeant Darrel Harpur said young children should be accompanied by adults and women should walk in groups.

He said the walkway between behind Nga Iwi Primary School which links Cape Road and Mascot Avenue "is to be avoided where possible".

The walk-way is the scene where four daylight attacks, one of them the rape of an 8-year-old girl, have been committed in the past days.

Police said yesterday they could not say if the attacks were related.

In the latest incident, about 2pm yesterday, a 29 year-old woman was attacked in a blindspot in the alley while walking from Mangere township.

"Her kids came up to the [school] fence during lunchtime [as she was passing] and said 'hi' and she said 'I'm just going to get some groceries and come back'," said Nga Iwi associate principal George Ihimaera.

Mr Harpur people living near-by chased a boy and caught him.

Last Thursday, a 28-year-old single mother-of-five was indecently assaulted. She escaped after swinging a fist at the man.

In the most serious incident, the previous Monday, an 8-year-old girl was raped.

It is understood the child did not tell police she was raped until a specialist interview last Friday.

Police inquiries that day found other females had been approached in the alleyway by the man, who had asked to touch them.

The series of attacks is believed to have begun on September 8, when a 12-year-old girl was dragged down the alley and violated.

That case was initially handled by the police child-abuse team, and the man was never caught.

Mr Harpur said last night that he had never seen such a string of attacks in 21 years of policing.

"I have never had a serial offender that picks up pre-pubescent girls and late-20s adults," he said last night.

An attacker of that type "obviously has no inhibitions" and was "quite happy to approach young people".

A team of general duties police and detectives was due back in Mangere today, canvassing the area and profiling people of concern.

"As you always do in the course of this sort of investigation," Mr Harpur said. "In every community you would be amazed at who your neighbours are."

The attacks have also prompted residents to take action to keep their community safe.

Mangere Maori wardens increased their patrols and were yesterday stationed at several points along the alleyway when the school day ended.

Their chief, Thomas Henry, said the alleyway "blind spot" was particularly hard to monitor when it got dark.

Nga Iwi principal Heather Hampton said a newsletter went out last Wednesday warning parents that there had been "an incident involving a man approaching a girl".

"We know enough to give advice to parents that children need to be watched."

Mr Harpur urged anyone with information about the sex offender to contact Counties-Manukau Police on (09) 261-1300.

* The attacks

(all between 2pm and 4pm):

September 8: 12-year-old girl dragged along alleyway and assaulted.

October 19: 8-year-old girl pulled to ground and raped in alleyway.

Thursday: 28-year-old mother assaulted while pushing pram along alleyway.

Yesterday: Mother in 20s carrying groceries assaulted in alleyway.

* Police are seeking

Polynesian man aged 18 to 20, about 1.65m and medium build, wearing dark-green hoodie and dark jeans.