Auckland child offered $100 to get in stranger's car

  • Updated
  • 10/04/2017
St Dominic's School (Google Maps)
St Dominic's School (Google Maps)

A quick-thinking nine-year-old Auckland girl was praised in front of the whole school for "doing the right thing" and running from a man who offered her money to get into his car.

The St Dominic's School pupil was approached by a man on Monday morning who tried to tempt her with $100.

The girl, who was walking to school around 8am, quickly ran from the man and told her teacher about it. 

The encounter prompted the Blockhouse Bay Catholic school to email parents and caregivers to make sure their children know what to do.

Principal Daniel Pepper says he took the opportunity at a regular prayer meeting to praise the girl and to talk about the issue with other pupils.

"I got her up in front of the assembly and said how brave she was in front of everybody, and said this is exactly what you do," he told Newshub.

Mr Pepper also praised the police response, saying officers arrived at the school quickly.

Teachers would be posted at the front and back gates of the school as normal, but they knew what the suspect's car looked like.

"What we don't want to do is alarm too many people, but it's certainly scary stuff."

Making sure children were safe had to be a "matter of school and home working together", Mr Pepper said.

"You don't want them to be walking the streets scared, but they need to know exactly what needs to happen.

"As a community, as we tend to get further away from each other, when we're busy with work and stuff, we sometimes forget there are these nutters  out there and as a community we need to make sure we're conscious of who's outside your house, do they look dodgy, and just to keep an eye on them because our kids have to be safe coming to school - they have to be."

In the email, the school issued a reminder to parents to talk to their children about what to do in similar situations and include certain scenarios of what they could come across.

It suggested one method in which the family has a password - if the person attempting to pick them up doesn't know it, then the child shouldn't get in the vehicle.

That advice referred to a similar instance last week at Trentham School in Upper Hutt in which a pupil was approached by a man in a black car.

"The child asked for the password which the man got wrong. The child ran off and didn't tell his mum as he didn't want her to worry," the school said at the time.