Police are appealing for public assistance after two teenage girls were allegedly approached by a man at Banora Point.

About 5.30pm on Saturday (16 January 2010), two 13-year-old girls were walking home from Banora Point Shopping Village when they were allegedly followed by a van in Eucalyptus Drive.

The male driver allegedly got out of the vehicle and aggressively attempted to entice the girls into a distinctive dark blue van, with drawings or paintings of an orange jumping castle and stick-figure pictures of children on the side.

The man left the area after the intervention of an elderly couple who were walking nearby.

Police attached to Tweed/Byron Local Area Command are examining the circumstances surrounding the matter and are appealing for anyone with information about the alleged incident to contact investigators.

In particular, police would like to speak with a man described as being of white/European appearance, with dark wavy mid-length hair in a curly ringlet style. At the time of the alleged incident, he was wearing a white singlet, dark sunglasses, and a navy blue baseball cap worn backwards.

Anyone with information about the man’s identity or his current whereabouts, or information about the owner or current whereabouts of the distinctive van, is asked to contact Tweed Heads Police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Police have renewed their appeal for parents to reinforce ‘Safe People, Safe Places’ messages to their children. Messages include:

• Children and young people should avoid walking on their own and should be encouraged to instead walk with other family members, friends or an adult they know when going to and from school, the shops, or other destinations.

• Make sure your parents or another adult knows where you are at all times.

• Always go straight home or directly to the place you are walking to.

• Know where safe places are – a shop, service station, police station, library or school. If you are ever frightened, you should go to one of these places and ask them to call the police.

• Learn about safe adults you can look for and talk to if you need help – police officers, teachers at school, adults you know and trust.

• Don’t talk to people you don’t know and never get into a car with someone you don’t know. If a car stops on the side of the road and you don’t know the person inside, do not stop.

• If you are scared and can use a phone, call Triple Zero (000) and tell them you are scared.

If a young person has been approached by a stranger they should report the matter to police immediately.