Public urged to stay vigilant after teenager is raped in late night attack
PUBLISHED: 06:00 31 May 2018 | UPDATED: 12:23 31 May 2018
Suffolk police are warning people to remain vigilant and take their personal safety very seriously after a young woman was raped in a "terrifying attack".
Detectives investigating the rape of an 18-year-old in Sudbury have reassured the public they are doing everything in their power to track down the suspected attacker – adding that the incident was “very rare”.
The teenager reported being attacked at around 3.30am on Monday, off a path near First Avenue and Second Avenue.
“While we are doing everything we can to identify and arrest this person as soon as possible, clearly there is a man who is outstanding at the moment who has attacked a female on her way home and therefore is dangerous,” said Detective Superintendent Marina Ericson, of Suffolk police’s Major Investigation Team.
“I would advise that people are vigilant and take their personal safety very seriously.
“People need to think about if they are going to be out late at night, walk home with somebody and look for alternative methods like getting a taxi.”
Initial enquiries have established the victim walked from the town centre along Waldingfield Road, before turning left onto a cycle path – next to the bus stop directly opposite Wheelers Close.
She was then approached by someone in an area of grassland between First and Second Avenue – and was grabbed by a man who raped her.
Det Supt Ericson added: “We want people to take these precautions even though there is no suggestion that there will be a further attack.
“This is a very, very rare attack but we want people to be vigilant.”
House to house enquiries conducted in surrounding communities have had positive results, she said, and several calls have come in to the force’s 101 number about the incident.
“This was a terrifying attack on a young woman and she has been incredibly brave in working with our officers to help us try and identify the offender,” she added.
“I want to reassure the public that we are doing everything we possibly can to find this man.
“We are treating this as a major investigation.”
The suspected attacker is described as white, of small to medium build, with dark curly hair and a dark beard.
Police believe he was wearing a brown leather jacket and jeans, and spoke with a foreign accent.
Detectives would like to hear from a number of people, including anyone who was in the town’s Infinity Nightclub on the night in question.
Anyone who believes they saw a man matching the suspected attacker’s description to come forward.
Those who were out in East Street or Waldingfield Road between 2am and 6am are also being urged to get in touch.
Officers particularly want to trace two people who were seen by the victim in Waldingfield Road at around 3am, as they could prove to be vital witnesses.
They would also like to hear from anyone who drove along the above roads in the times specified who may have dash cam footage, and anyone with private CCTV who lives nearby.
Calls should be made to the Major Investigation Team on 101 quoting reference 29056/18.
Or, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.