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Parent gives stranger danger warning

Kylie Wilson and Kyra Pye say a man in the white van was acting suspiciously on Wednesday after school. PHOTO/ALEYNA MARTINEZ

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Kyra Pye from Douglas Park School has only just started walking home to practice for next year when she will begin intermediate school.

But always with a friend, said her mother Kylie Wilson.

On Wednesday, the 10-year-old received a fright when a man in a white van pulled up next to her, braking suddenly, before trying to get out of his car.

Before he got out, Kyra said the man had been watching her from his rear-view mirror.

“I didn’t really like the feel of that, so I just started running,” Kyra said.

When she looked behind her, the man “jumped straight back into his van” and disappeared suddenly.

It was the first day she had to walk alone.

The man was described to police to be in his late 30s to mid-40s, bald, and wearing sunglasses.

On Thursday, Wilson kept her daughter off school to spend some much-needed time to regain her sense of safety.

“I would feel safe if I was in a group of friends, but definitely not just by myself anymore,” Kyra said.

Wilson said she was told by a friend’s partner who is a police officer that there had been reports of a “man in a white van” in the area.

Wilson said if she had been aware of this, she would never have allowed her daughter to walk home.

A Wairarapa Police spokesperson said the report had been made but there was no approach between the male and the child.

“[There is] nothing to say it was anything untoward and may well have been a work van, although I cannot confirm that”.

“If anyone has any information regarding the event, then we ask them to report to Wairarapa Police, file reference 201021/4050.”

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