Boys face charges over attack on girl

Two boys have appeared in court and three other children are still being sought by police in relation to two separate aggravated robberies in Feilding.

Police arrested two boys, aged 14 and 15, on Thursday after they attacked a 15-year-old girl, threatening her and demanding she give them cigarettes.

The boys were due to appear in Palmerston North's youth court yesterday, and a third boy, aged 12, has been referred to youth aid.

All three had come to police attention previously, Sergeant Grant Lawton, of Feilding, said.

The attack comes during the school holidays and bears similarities to an offence last month in Feilding when a middle-aged woman was seriously assaulted and had her shoes stolen.

Feilding police were still making inquiries to determine who was responsible for that attack, youth aid officer Senior Constable John Samuela said. "There's nothing to link the two cases at this stage," he said.

Feilding truancy officer Kerry Searancke said many young people were speculating about the young attackers' identities. But those children's actions did not reflect the rest of the town's young people, he said.

"The most important thing is 98 per cent of kids in town don't get into trouble and it's that small minority who do," Mr Searancke said.

"I feel this is very sad and damaging for Feilding, that something like this can be happening in our own backyard. In our town, there are young people who say for the kids ‘there's not anything to do,' ‘we're bored' - things like this come out.

"But none of those things are reasons to come out and start hassling people."

The second aggravated offence by young people in the town within a few weeks had police worried, too.

"It is school holidays now so this tends to happen during that time," Mr Lawton said.

"In terms of an aggravated robbery, this is the second we've had and anything like that is of concern to police, but we are on top of it."

Manawatu Standard