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Appeal for witnesses, and women warned, after sexual assaults in Edgware and Mill Hill

News   •   Nov 29, 2016 15:44 GMT


Detectives in Barnet Borough are appealing for information and witnesses following a number of similar reported sexual assaults over recent weeks.

In light of the attacks, police are also urging lone women to be vigilant to prevent further assaults.

On Thursday, 24 November at about 23:30hrs a 23-year-old woman was walking along Dollis Road, Mill Hill, near to the junction with Gordon Road, to get into a pre-booked taxi. An unknown man approached her from behind and sexually assaulted her. The suspect then walked away in an unknown direction. The victim described the suspect as a white male wearing dark clothing.

Two days later, on Saturday, 26 November a 22-year-old woman got off the train at nearby Mill Hill East Station. After walking out of the station at about 21:30hrs, she walked along Bittacy Hill, towards Devonshire Hill, when she was approached by an unknown man who grabbed and sexually assaulted her. He then let her go.

The victim described the suspect as a white male, about 35 years old and 5ft 5ins tall, with light brown spiky hair. He was wearing a long black fitted coat, black trousers and black shoes. He had a European accent.

Detectives believe the two assaults could be linked due to the close proximity of the attacks and similarities of the incidents and victims.

On 23 September at about 23:30hrs a 52-year-old woman turned into Tayside, Edgware, when she was grabbed and sexually assaulted by an unknown male. He then let her go.

The victim described the suspect as a white male, aged in his early to mid 20s and about 5ft 9inches tall. He was wearing a grey hooded top and blue trousers.

On Friday, 28 October at about 19:50hrs a 22-year-old woman was at the junction of Broadfields Avenue and Harrowes Mead in Edgware, when she was approached by an unknown man who attempted to sexually assault her. The victim screamed and managed to push the man away. The suspect fled on foot towards Broadfields Avenue.

The victim described the suspect as a white Eastern European male, aged 20 to 30 years old, about 6ft tall with short brown hair. He was wearing a grey hooded top and jeans.

On Sunday, 20 November at about 20:30hrs a 38-year-old woman was walking along Springwood Crescent, in Edgware, when she realised she was being followed by an unknown man. At junction with Burrell Close, the man grabbed and sexually assaulted her. The victim managed to break free from him and he ran off towards Bushfield Crescent.

The suspect was described as an Eastern European male, aged 20 to 30, about 5ft 7inches tall with short blonde hair. He was wearing a denim jacket, grey jumper and jeans.

Detectives believe the three assaults in Edgware are linked due a similar suspect description and them happening in the same area.

It is unknown if the Mill Hill and Edgware assaults are linked at this time.

Detective Constable Dan Levy, from Barnet CID, said:

"We would encourage people to be vigilant and aware of their surroundings at all times. When walking alone, keep to well lit and busy areas where possible. If you feel uneasy about an individual or situation, trust your instincts and leave the area and head towards a public place such as a shop.

"We would urge any witnesses or anyone with information to come forward, either to police or to Crimestoppers anonymously. We would also appeal to any other victims to come forward and speak to police."

Anyone with information should call Barnet CID on 101.

Information can also be reported anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

There have been no arrests and enquiries continue.

Personal Safety Advice:

- Prepare and consider your travel arrangements carefully and ensure someone knows where you are going, who you are with and when you might be home.

- Look as assertive as you can, walk with confidence and be aware of your surroundings and who is around you.

- Avoid short cuts and dark isolated areas, vary your routine and be discreet handling cash, phones and wearing jewellery in a public place.

- Never take your safety for granted and look after your friends so that they don't become vulnerable. Remember your personal safety is more important than your phone or other valuables.

- Keep your bags close to you and secured with zips closed. Check your belongings and your pockets regularly.

- Wearing headphones and talking on the phone can make you unaware of your immediate surroundings - this makes you appear vulnerable and gives an advantage to a criminal.

- If you feel uneasy about an individual or situation, trust your instincts and leave the area and head towards a public place such as a shop.

Further advice can be found at:

http://content.met.police.uk/Site/crimepreventionpersonalsafety

www.suzylamplugh.org/personal-safety-tips/free-personal-safety-tips