Police step up hunt for town rapists

POLICE have stepped up their hunt for two men said to have raped a teenage girl in Newmarket.

Dave Gooderham

THE scene of an alleged rape of a 16-year-old girl is known for crime problems and had already become a “no-go zone”, a councillor claimed last night.

Police yesterday stepped up their hunt for two men said to have raped the teenager in Fitzroy Street, Newmarket, in the early hours of Monday.

Community leaders said the area had become associated with crime due to extended licensing hours and a limited police presence.

Former mayor and Forest Heath District Council member, Warwick Hirst, said: “This is a shocking incident and there is already great concern about what happens in that area between 11pm and 4am on certain nights of the week.

“You only have to look at police records to show the degree of problems we are facing and it has only been made worse by allowing certain food and drink establishments to be open even later.

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“The problems are very serious as it has made the area a no-go zone for residents.

“I have 100% sympathy with the police who do an excellent job with very limited resources as they attempt to deal with hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of people in the street.”

Police last night revealed they were examining CCTV footage from the area over the teenager's claim's that she had been attacked in an alleyway in the early hours of Monday morning.

The youngster approached police officers in the town at 2.25am and claimed she had been raped by two men close to the King's Theatre in Fitzroy Street.

Residents in the town last night spoke of their shock while police revealed they had interviewed the victim and were now examining the scene.

One man, who works in Fitzroy Street, said: “Something like this is always a shock when it happens somewhere you know very well.

“Fitzroy Street is quite a nice place apart from the occasional litter and other problems associated with pubs and clubs during certain times of the week.”

Suffolk police said the two men were described as white, in their late teens to early 20s, and with dark hair.

A force spokesman said: “We can confirm that our investigation is ongoing and CCTV footage has been examined and the victim interviewed.

“The scene has been searched and examined and we would urge anyone with information to come forward.”

The spokesman urged anyone who was in the area between 1.30am and 3.30am on Monday to come forward, regardless of whether they had information on the alleged attack. They are asked to call 01284 774100.

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