Police bail man in male rape investigation

Police were today trying to reassure shocked residents of a town centre street in Ipswich after launching investigations into an alleged male rape.

Police were today trying to reassure shocked residents of a town centre street in Ipswich after launching investigations into an alleged male rape.

A 21-year-old man was arrested by the police on Saturday and questioned about the alleged rape before being released on bail to report back to the police station in August.

The alleged incident happened on Alderman Road recreation ground, near Portman Road football stadium, during the early hours of Saturday morning.

Police insisted it was a very rare offence – and said there was no reason for residents to be alarmed.

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Residents said a large number of detectives and scenes of crime officers were on the recreation ground early on Saturday, but by mid-morning there was no indication that anything unusual had happened there.

The man said to be the victim of the alleged assault, himself in his early 20s, reported it to the police early on Saturday and the arrest was made soon after.

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One Alderman Road resident said the recreation ground was a known meeting-place for some members of the gay community.

She said: “Some of what goes on there isn’t nice for families. We know it is used as a meeting place and there have been incidents before.

“Several years ago we heard a scream and my partner went out to see what was happening. There was a young man with a screwdriver in his front.

“I have first aid training so my partner brought him here before calling the emergency services. I could see it was only a flesh wound and pulled it out and patched him up – but he said someone had tried to rape him and had then got out the screwdriver when he refused to have sex.”

A police spokeswoman said officers were not aware of any particular reputation that the area might have – and insisted that incidents like this were extremely rare.

She said: “If residents have concerns about the type of behaviour going on in part of the area, they should contact their Safer Neighbourhood Team.”

Alderman Road had a reputation as being at the centre of the town’s red light area, but over recent years a considerable amount of money has been spent on improving the recreation ground and developing the Alderman Canal nature reserve.

Long-term resident Pat Burrows said people had been shocked to find police in the road on Saturday morning.

She said: “There were detectives and scenes of crime people here. They started off near the houses and then drove across the grass to the play areas before they went away.

“They wouldn’t tell us what it was all about – but if someone has been attacked that is dreadful.”

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