Public urged to be vigilant at night following rape in Stowmarket

Stowmarket Recreation Ground. Picture: MATT REASON

Stowmarket Recreation Ground. Picture: MATT REASON - Credit: Archant

Police are urging people in Stowmarket to be on high alert after a teenager was raped on the streets.

Stowmarket Recreation Ground. Picture: MATT REASON

Stowmarket Recreation Ground. Picture: MATT REASON - Credit: Archant

The 19-year-old woman told officers she was attacked around 2am on Easter Sunday in the vicinity of the Recreation Ground.

She is being supported by specialist trained officers.

Detectives have launched an investigation which led to the arrest of a 26-year-old man on suspicion of rape on Sunday night.

He was taken to Martlesham Police Investigation Centre for questioning and has now been released under investigation pending further inquiries.

Stowmarket councillor Barry Humphreys. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Stowmarket councillor Barry Humphreys. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

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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.

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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.”

Town councillor Barry Humphreys said Stowmarket was usually safe.

He said: “If anyone does know anything to help the local police I would urge them to get in touch with them as quickly as possible.

“In a town that’s generally a safe place to live it’s shocking that this has happened and I hope police catch him in good time.”

Linda Baxter, deputy mayor of Stowmarket, expressed shock.

She said: “It’s unusual for something like that to happen in Stowmarket I would say and certainly for someone to be assaulted in the early hours of the morning so for me I would say it’s a rarity. I just feel sad that a young woman has been raped.”

Ms Baxter also patrols the town centre on Friday nights as a Stowmarket Town Pastor and she said it was usually “peaceful”.

She urged people to heed the advise from police and keep themselves safe.

“I wish this young lady well and I hope she can recover from this experience,” Ms Baxter added.

Anyone with information should call the West Safeguarding Unit at Bury St Edmunds Police Station on 101 quoting reference 17554/18.

Alternatively, contact the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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