Police are investigating a series of sexual assaults in Watford are releasing a facial reconstruction of a man they would like to identify as part of the investigation. It is believed there have been seven incidents since the beginning of June, which have occurred around the Vicarage Road, Wiggenhall Road and Exchange Road areas of Watford. The offences, which are being linked, involve the offender approaching women and grabbing their buttocks. The offender is described as black male, with a slim build, between 5ft 3ins and 5ft 5ins tall and with short hair. Detective Sergeant Matthew Waylett, from the Watford Local Crime Unit said: “One of the victims has assisted us in creating this image of the suspect. “I’d like to hear from anyone who recognises this person or has information about the incidents as a matter of urgency. You can give information anonymously via Crimestoppers if you would prefer. I’d also like to hear from anyone who has been approached in the same way.” Officers have released CCTV images of a man they wish to speak to in connection with the investigation. Sergeant Waylett added: “The man pictured may have vital information about what happened and I would urge the public to contact us if they can identify him. He is wearing a distinctive pair of Simpson’s cartoon slippers. “I’d reassure people that we are taking these incidents seriously and have a number of officers involved in the investigation, as well as increased patrols. I would also reiterate the safety advice which includes remaining alert when walking alone, being aware of your surroundings and sticking to busy areas.” Whilst incidents such as these are very uncommon in Hertfordshire, girls and women should be on their guard and take these common sense measures to safeguard their personal safety.
- Stick to busy and well-lit areas
- Avoid short cuts through quiet, unlit, secluded or wooded areas and alleyways
- Stay alert
- Don’t use iPods or personal stereo headphones whilst walking or jogging because you may not be able to hear someone approaching
- Make sure someone knows where you are going and tell them when you’ve arrived
- If you think someone is following you, go to the nearest busy place
- Take a mobile phone with you.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the local crime unit at Watford Police Station via the Herts Police non-emergency number 101, quoting Operation Cortes. Alternatively call Crimestoppers, the independent charity, anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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