Wagga police have launched an investigation after reports about a man approaching a child in Kooringal on Wednesday.
Police said the 10-year-old girl was approached by a man who was driving a van.
The man tried to start a conversation with her before she ran away.
Acting Inspector Steven Magnone said the girl was walking alone to Kooringal Mall after school hours when the man approached her near Barinya Street.
“The child was distressed … police have checked on the welfare of the child and she’s well at this stage," Inspector Magnone said yesterday at a media conference.
"Police are currently canvassing the area."
The vehicle was described as being black with dark-tinted windows and the driver as Caucasian with a thin build and short, brown hair.
He was last seen wearing a red short-sleeved shirt with black diagonal stripes and a blue cap.
Inspector Magnone said the man did not get out of the vehicle as he approached the child.
“It’s a rare incident, it’s not often this occurs in Wagga … [but] stay alert and if you see a van as described, please contact police," he said.
Police have encouraged parents to discuss safety messages with their children, including calling triple-0 when they are scared.
The incident comes only one month after the publication of a national survey showing 71 per cent of children do not walk or ride to school in a typical week because their parents had concerns about safety.
The Royal Children's Hospital Child Health Poll found that children are on average 11 years old when they first travel to school without an adult.
"Though only 12 per cent of primary-school-aged children travel every day independently," the report states.
One of the recommendations for parents in building their children's independent travel is teaching them about stranger awareness and personal safety.
Anyone with more information about the Kooringal incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or Wagga Police Station on 6922 2599.
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