A 25-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of rape in Hemel Hempstead.
The man, who is from the town, was arrested late yesterday evening (Tuesday, January 21).
The arrest is in connection with an incident which happened in Adeyfield at around 7.30am the same day.
A woman aged in her 20s was walking on Farmhouse Lane when she was approached by a man who forced her into a car before raping her in the vehicle.
Detective Inspector Philip Moss, from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit, said: “Our thoughts are very much with the victim, who has suffered a dreadful ordeal. She is being fully supported by specially trained officers and I would like to publicly reassure her that we are doing all we can to investigate what happened.
“We appreciate that news of this incident will come as a shock to the local community but this type of crime is very unusual in Hertfordshire. We have been unable to share this information with the local community until this afternoon due to operational reasons. When investigating crimes of this nature, the safety of both the victim and the wider public is absolutely paramount.
“This is a fast-moving investigation and an arrest was swiftly made late last night (January 21). The man is currently being interviewed and we have carried out extensive enquiries to date. We have also seized a vehicle as part of our investigation and this is being subjected to forensic tests.
“I would especially like to appeal to anyone who was in the area near to Farmhouse Lane at the time of the incident who may have seen a man wearing a bright red Puffa jacket.
“Additionally if you were driving along High Street Green towards Swallowdale Lane at the time and your dash cam was recording, then detectives would be keen to review your footage so please get in touch.
“Lastly, we have been made aware of a number of posts on local social media sites speculating about this incident. We appreciate that it is going to generate conversation however we would ask that the public keep the victim at the forefront of their minds, as well as be mindful that our enquiries remain ongoing and that online public discussion could potentially be harmful to the investigation.”
If you have any further information about the incident that you believe may be relevant, but please contact police quoting Operation Fawn.
Alternatively you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or visit their website www.crimestoppers-uk.org