'Urgency' in investigation

Cromwell police are following up information about an alleged attempted abduction of a 12-year-old girl in Cromwell last week but are yet to find the two men involved.

Sergeant Simon Paget, of Cromwell, said they are treating the investigation with urgency.

The alleged attempt occurred on Friday in Achil St when she noticed two men in a white van following her.

She went into a shop and headed home. The van continued to follow her.

One of the men then got out and grabbed her from behind, lifting her off her bicycle. She fought the man and was able to break free.

The men were described as having dark skin and spoke with foreign accents.

One of the men had shoulder-length dreadlocks with a distinctive red mark under his left eye and the other had a shaven head.

The white van had distinctive silver writing down the side of it.

Police had been following up tip-offs about white vans in the area.

"It all contributes to the bigger picture," Mr Paget said.

The Criminal Investigation Branch was also investigating.

It was not believed the incident was linked to two similar incidents in Invercargill during the past three weeks, where a man with grey-silver hair allegedly tried to lure two teenaged girls into the back of a white van.

"We don't believe it's linked. They are quite different descriptions," Mr Paget said.

"If you were in the area at the time, or have seen a vehicle fitting the description of the one above, we would like to hear from you," he said.

In a separate incident, Alexandra police investigating a 7-year-old boy being offered a ride home near Alexandra Primary School, also on Friday afternoon, have ended their investigation.

No further action will be taken.

The Southland Times