Police are warning the public to be on guard after two young girls were approached by men in ''disturbing'' circumstances this week.
Sergeant Bruce Irvine said two separate instances where school girls had been approached by older men while walking to and from school in New Plymouth were reported on Thursday.
Irvine said the first occurred about 8.30am near the intersection of Durham Ave and Junction St in Highlands Park.
''A 12-year-old girl was walking to school and a male has come up from behind her and grabbed her leg,'' he said.
''She has taken off from him when it happened.''
The girl described the man as being ''half-caste'' and in his 40s, Irvine said.
About 4pm another 12-year-old girl was approached by two men in a car, while walking home on Belair Ave in Spotswood.
''They have told her to get in and she has run away,'' Irvine said.
The girl told police the car was white and the men were in their 30s.
Irvine said the behaviour was ''inappropriate and disturbing'' and the girls had done the right thing in running away.
''Don't get in a car, run away and make as much noise as you can. If they chase you go into a shop or find another adult and get some assistance,'' he advised.
Irvine said police wanted everyone to be on guard and aware of who was around.
''These things happen unfortunately and it's not always young girls.''
Anyone with information about the men can contact police on (06) 759 5500.
Taranaki Daily News