Ranui residents want more detail from police to help find abductor.

As children prepare to return to school this week, West Auckland parents have spoken out about their frustrations with the hunt for a sexual offender who abducted a boy last year.

The 11-year-old boy was walking home from school in Ranui when he was approached by a man asking for directions just before 4pm on November 17.

The boy was plucked off the street and endured a prolonged sexual assault before his abductor returned him to Ranui about 8pm.

Now, several months after the attack, residents say they are frustrated at a lack of further detail from police, including a description of the wanted man. A grey van remains the only clue police have publicly provided.


Natasha Woolmore- a mother of three children under the age of 7 who lives in the area - said after the incident she became too scared to walk further than her letterbox and wouldn't feel safe in Ranui until the offender was caught.

"Where [the boy] got abducted is a minute's - if that - walk from our house," she said.

The young mum said she hoped police would release more information about the man who assaulted the boy because it would help people to identify the offender if they saw him.

"The police aren't the ones that are constantly in this area. But the people who actually live in this neighbourhood all the time, they're going to be on high alert and if they know a description they're going to keep an eye out, which would lead to this person being caught quicker.

"The guy just needs to be caught because he's done something just so disgusting and he's pretty much just gotten away with it. He's just getting away with it because they're not releasing any more information."

Another woman, who lives in nearby Massey, said locals felt "frustrated" by the lack of information police had provided.

"We're not allowed to know a thing. I'd like to know why they won't let us know what he looks like."

The woman, who asked to remain anonymous, said she and others locals were keeping an eye out for grey vans.


"You want to do your bit."

But without further information there wasn't much more they could do, the woman said.

When the Herald put the residents' concerns to the police this week, Waitemata police Detective Senior Sergeant Jason McIntosh said they were aware the community was concerned, but were unable to comment further.

"We must reiterate that it is a sensitive matter, and our priority is the ongoing welfare of the victim," McIntosh said.

"Any information that can be shared with the public will be shared, but at this stage we can only reiterate that this is an ongoing investigation and enquiries are continuing."

Local MP Phil Twyford said some Ranui parents had voiced concerns with him about the abduction.

"They just feel that they want the offender to be caught and they're understandably concerned about kids walking to and from school and being out and about on the street."

While he had faith the police were doing "everything that they can to try to find the offender and solve the case", he "absolutely" understood why some residents were frustrated.

"It's been an extremely unsettling thing to have happen in the community," he said.

"It's a very frustrating situation. I think everybody in the community just wants to see a resolution here.

"I think if there was a fuller description police may have made more progress than it seems that they have. But that's just sometimes what happens in their situation."

Auckland Councillor Linda Cooper, who represents the Waitakere ward which includes Ranui, said no one had raised any issues with her about how the police were handling the case.

"I think it's very easy to second guess the police, but with a complex situation like this there may be other issues that we don't know about stopping them releasing an identity.

"If police have decided not to do that there must be a good reason. I'm sure if they had a good description, they would [release more information]."

West Auckland police were proactive and approachable, Cooper said.

"Anybody can go and talk to the community constables at the policing team at any time and talk to them about how to be safe. They've got easy access to community police."