Ipswich: Calls for an official taxi rank at the Waterfront after alleged rape victim mistook car for cab

That is the call from the community “shocked” at hearing a young girl was allegedly raped after getting into a car she believed was a waiting taxi.

The 21-year-old became separated from her friends on Tuesday night and got into a silver car.

She was taken to a flat by the two men in the car, who gave her a drink before one of them allegedly raped her.

As police issued a warning to women out at night in the town, the Waterfront Action Group, Holywells councillor Liz Harsant, University Campus Suffolk and Isaacs bar have called for an official taxi rank outside Old Customs House to increase safety in the area.

Jay Harvey co-ordinator for the action group told the Star he was “shocked” to hear of the alleged attack.

He pledge to raise the issue of safety at the group’s next business forum next month, to discuss ways of warning revellers.

“At the moment we are waiting to hear if the Waterfront will be pedestrianised, until then everything is on hold,” he said. “Plans for an official taxi rank is something businesses have been asking for and it is certainly something which would be welcomed.”

Most Read

Mrs Harsant said the “awful” incident should serve as a warning to women.

“I think it is a lesson to young girls to be very careful when they get into a car.”

Backing calls for an official taxi stop, she added: “It would be such a good idea.

“It is something I will be pushing for.” Meanwhile Richard Lister, deputy provost at UCS, echoed the support.

“UCS would be very supportive of the idea of having official taxi facilities on the Waterfront. Anything which would support the safety of our students is to be welcomed.”

Tanya Hart added Isaacs’ backing. She said: “An official taxi rank is Isaacs would certainly support.”

Police officers are today continuing their investigations into the alleged rape.

Detectives spent time yesterday speaking to the victim to gather more information in a bid to catch the perpetrator.

Following other lines of inquiry involved scouring CCTV images from around the Waterfront and other parts of the town, close to Warwick Road, where the victim was found by a friend.

Officers are keen to speak to anyone who may have seen the distressed female, particularly in Warwick Road, Alexandra Road and Devonshire Road areas of Ipswich in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

They are keen to establish the woman’s movements between leaving the Waterfront and being in Warwick Road.

The victim is being given support by specially-trained officers and support workers at the Sexual Assault Referral Centre.

Anyone with information should call Det Sgt Darren Bruce at Ipswich CID on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter