Anger over suspicious man

‘None of the parents of Iona Primary or the College have received any warnings in regards to this man. Neither did our children. This man is still at large,’ said the mother who asked not to be named.

On August 26, a man described as being high on drugs or intoxicated spoke to two students from the primary school, prompting an immediate but unsuccessful Cottesloe police search.

‘We don’t believe he was trying to coerce the kids into leaving the school, but he was aggressive, which upset the girls,’ Senior-Sergeant Mic Dalla-Costa said.

The following day, the Association of Independent Schools of WA warned members about the man and nearby Mosman Park PS told parents and students about the incident.

However, the mother said Iona PS and secondary school students and parents were not informed, and she questioned whether the lack of information was related to an open day due soon at the school.

Asked why there was no notification, Iona PS principal Christine Walsh said the school worked co-operatively with all schools and police to send out safety alerts.

‘Before issuing an alert to our school community, our staff make an assessment of the risk and tailor our actions that are appropriate to the situation,’ she said. ‘We always seek to balance potential risk, while not causing unnecessary alarm within our school community.’

A suspicious man reported using a camera at Cottesloe PS on September 2 was investigated by police who found he was a Water Corporation employee checking meters.

Principal Graham Dart said the report showed child safety procedures at his school were working and the corporation had told its staff to register at reception before entering the grounds.

The man in the Iona incident was Caucasian with short brown hair, 35-40 years old, drove a champagne-coloured 4WD with a ladder on the roof and a white sticker with the word ‘unit’ on the back.