Police step up patrols
Wednesday, 16th February, 2011
By John Casey
Police have stepped up patrols and been canvassing neighbours near the intersection of Jones and Thomas streets after a schoolgirl was indecently assaulted on Monday afternoon.
The 12-year-old, from a school located in the central part of Broken Hill, was not physically injured during the attack which occured at around 3.30pm.
The girl told police she was walking near the intersection of Jones and Thomas streets when she was approached by a man who indecently assaulted her. She told her parents, who called police.
Barrier Local Area Commander, Superintendent Brad Hodder, said the man was described as being of Caucasian appearance, 165 to 170cm tall, wearing a red t-shirt and black shorts. He has black curly hair and was on foot at the time.
“This seems to be an isolated incident and I don’t want to unduly alarm the community, but we are taking the assault very seriously and need anyone who saw a man matching this description to inform police,” Supt. Hodder said.
“We immediately searched the area but unfortunately there was no sign of the man.”
Detective Inspector Mick Stoltenberg said he was “pretty confident” that there would not be a repeat of the incident.
“We have increased our patrols and will be canvassing neighbours in the area for any witnesses,” Det. Insp. Stoltenberg said.
“Sometimes people have information and for whatever reason keep it to themselves. Now is not the time to go down that path,” he added.
Det. Insp. Stoltenberg said he could not comment as to whether the man they are seeking was from Broken Hill.
“After 15 years’ experience in child protection I have learnt to keep an open mind on these matters,” he said.
“This is a very rare occurence for Broken Hill and I want to keep it that way. One report of this nature is one too many as far as I am concerned.”
While the investigation continues police will also attempt to raise the awareness levels at schools via newsletters to parents and using school assemblies to promote personal safety strategies for students.
“We’ll be doing our best to identify and locate the person involved,” Det. Insp. Stoltenberg said.
Anyone who was in the area and/or who may know the man is urged to contact Broken Hill police or Crime Stoppers on 1800-333-000 immediately.
* Police have issued some basic personal safety tips, see page 2