Police establish Taskforce Tydeus to investigate child approaches

UPDATE

ACT Policing has today launched Taskforce Tydeus to investigate reports of suspicious approaches to children across the ACT.

There have been 14 incidents of this nature reported to police since February, 2018.

Taskforce Tydeus will draw on ACT Policing detectives and intelligence specialists to assess all reports both individually and as a whole.

As well as coordinating the investigation of reports, Taskforce Tydeus will conduct additional targeted patrols, including around schools.

Criminal Investigations Detective Superintendent Scott Moller said police are doing everything possible to keep children in our community safe.

“These incidents are particularly concerning as they have involved unknown men approaching and in some cases physically assaulting a child,” Detective Superintendent Moller said.

“Police continue to appeal to the public for any information in relation to people or vehicles acting suspiciously around children.”

ACT Policing can confirm there have been two incidents of this nature this week.

Yesterday at 5.24pm, police responded to a report of a child being approach by a man in Wright.

The child was riding a bike on James McAuley Crescent about 5.10pm when a man approached her.

He allegedly grabbed the child and pushed her to the ground before leaving the scene in a white van.

Police also responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle in Banks allegedly following a girl as she walked home about 4.15pm yesterday.

“At this point in time there is no evidence to suggest these two incidents are linked however the circumstances of both reports are clearly concerning,” Detective Superintendent Moller said.

“I would like to stress the importance of reporting information to police immediately - the quicker police can respond and attend to an incident of this nature, the quicker they can target the area and surrounds.”

ACT Policing is working closely with the ACT Education Directorate and will continue to provide safety themed education programs and resources to schools.

Police are urging anyone with information that could assist to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, or via the Crime Stoppers ACT website. Please refer to Taskforce Tydeus. Information can be provided anonymously.

If you become aware of an incident, or notice anyone acting suspiciously around a school or child, contact police immediately on 131 444 or in the case of an emergency call Triple Zero (000).

Media enquiries

Police Media — (02) 6264 9460, act-police-media@afp.gov.au