Mayor of Stowmarket urges community to be vigilant following alleged rape
- Credit: Archant
The mayor of Stowmarket has urged people to be vigilant after an alleged rape in the town on Easter Sunday.
Dave Muller said he was “absolutely shocked” by the incident, which was reported to have taken place around 2am in the vicinity of the Recreation Ground.
A 19-year-old woman is being supported by specialist officers following the incident, and a 26-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of rape on Sunday night.
He was taken to Martlesham Police Investigation Centre for questioning and has since been released under investigation, pending further inquiries.
Mr Muller said: “I’m absolutely shocked to hear about it. We are a peaceful community and we wouldn’t expect this to happen in Stowmarket.
“It’s sad that you do get these horrific crimes now and again but I would emphasize that Stowmarket is a safe town.
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“People should be vigilant however, and take care.”
The incident has again brought the issue of the perceived lack of visibility of police officers in the community to the fore.
Mr Muller, who is set to go out on patrol with police in the coming weeks, said: “It’s a contentious issue.
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“People say, ‘I never see a policeman on the streets anymore’ but I think that’s a common theme around the country.
“The types of crimes have changed and resources are stretched.”
Suffolk Police are appealing for anyone who was in the area between 1.30am and 2.30am on Sunday and who may have any information that can help with the investigation to get in touch.
Members of the public have also been advised to take extra precautions when in the town at night.
A spokesman for Suffolk Constabulary said: “Officers are urging members of the public to remain vigilant when out at night, to plan your journey home and avoid going off alone.”
Anyone with information should call the west safeguarding unit at Bury St Edmunds Police Station on 101, quoting reference 17554/18.
Alternatively, contact independent crime fighting charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111 or visit www.crimestoppers-uk.org to report information via an online form.