Armed man threatens girl on school grounds

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A man armed with a knife threatened a young Berwick school girl during recess last week.

Narre Warren police searched Berwick Fields Primary School after receiving a report about 12.15pm on Wednesday 22 June of a man loitering on the school grounds.

It is believed the man approached the student, lifted up his shirt to reveal a knife and said that if she told anyone he would hurt her.

The student ran off and reported the incident to the school, who contacted the police.

The Department of Education issued an alert. A spokesperson said no students were harmed.

“We take all reports of this kind extremely seriously,” the department spokesperson said.

“The school handled this situation well and is offering support to students and families.”

Berwick Fields principal Stephen Wigney said the incident occurred at the end of recess as the music was playing to signal the students to return to class.

“We take these things very seriously,” Mr Wigney said.

“We informed staff and sent out an alert to parents. We certainly made them aware of what had occurred and the steps we had put in place to make students feel safe and secure.

“We restricted the kids from going out at lunch time that day and have reinforced our procedure for yard duty staff to carry mobile phones with them and to report anything suspicious.

“I think the school handled the situation pretty well. We don’t often have these sorts of things occur, and we received positive feedback from parents.”

Officers were unable to locate the man perceived to be of Caucasian appearance, aged in his twenties and was wearing a shirt and jeans.

Police said the investigation was ongoing and urged anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or to submit a confidential crime report at http://www.crimestoppersvic.com.au.

Originally published at Pakenham Gazette.

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About Alana Mitchelson

Alana Mitchelson is a journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Follow her on Twitter at @AlanaMitchelson.

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