Lavenham: Residents told not to walk alone after flasher strikes

RESIDENTS in a peaceful medieval village will be offered personal attack alarms at community engagements after a flasher followed a woman to her car.

The man exposed himself twice to the woman on a secluded footpath in Lavenham before running off through undergrowth.

Villagers, who described the incident as “unusual” and “nasty,” have now been warned not to walk alone in isolated areas and always to carry mobile phones.

In addition, the area’s PCSO, Jamie Fudge, has asked residents to report any supicious behaviour. He has said that personal attack alarms, which emit a loud siren, will be offered for sale at forthcoming community engagements.

The suspect, who is described as “unkempt”, is said to have untidy hair and a woolly hat. Both times he has been seen he was dressed in a knee-length Parka and hiking boots.

On October 3, the man approached a lone woman on the Lavenham railway walk, a popular spot for dog walkers, and exposed himself.

The woman is said to have run back towards her car but was followed by the man, who then exposed himself for a second time.

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Police, who used a helicopter to search the area, were unable to track the suspect.

A few days later, the man was seen again on the railway walk near Bridge Street but, despite additional police patrols in the area, again was not found.

Lavenham Parish Council has helped put up a number of posters around the village as well as spreading warnings via Facebook. Council chairman Roy Whitworth said: “Lavenham Parish Council advises residents to be on their guard and says that until the man is caught those using footpaths in the village should avoid isolated areas, be accompanied if possible and carry a mobile phone.”

A Suffolk police spokeswoman added that the primary school had been made aware.

Anyone with information should phone 101.