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Re-assurance after two sex attacks on women in North Yorkshire


7:12am 22nd February 2011
(Updated 9:57am 22nd February 2011)

Detectives are investigating two unconnected reports of serious sexual assault in Bedale.

The first complaint, made by a girl aged in her early teens, relates to an alleged incident about four weeks ago in the area of the leisure centre.

Although precise details are still being assessed, relevant events are believed to have been on or after Monday 24 January 2011, at some time between 5pm and 6pm.

The second incident involved a woman in her early 20s who was reportedly attacked by an unknown male near the Wynd between 12 midnight and 2am on Friday 18 February 2011, whilst on a night out with friends.

Detective Inspector Keith Ruff, of Hambleton & Richmondshire CID, said:

"From our enquires so far into both incidents, I am satisfied that they are not connected.

"Both victims are receiving support from the police as enquiries continue to establish and fully assess the full circumstances surrounding the incidents."

DI Ruff said:

"it is understandable if local residents feel alarmed by the reported incidents, but every effort is being made by North Yorkshire Police to investigate the complaints and also provide a visible reassurance in the local community to reduce any concerns or fears".

Anyone with information that can assist with the investigations is asked to contact DS Angie Went or DS Simon Hepburn at Hambleton & Richmondshire CID on 0845 60 60 24 7, quoting reference number 12110025560 for the first incident and 12110027554 for the second.
Information can also be passed on anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111.

Tips to keep yourself safe:

  • Try and be aware of your surroundings.

  • Try and always walk with a friend

  • Walk in well lit areas only.

  • This goes for dates and just out on the town fun – NEVER EVER leave your drink unattended. Date rape drugs are easy to find and can get you killed.

  • Don’t get intoxicated – sounds silly but as a woman you are a target for sickos and quite frankly when drunk, judgment and safety go out the door.

  • If you are being followed by a man – break out the mace or pepper spray if you have it, stay in lit areas and go into the first public place you find. Keep looking back so the person knows you can’t be surprised and hopefully he will just go away

  • If a driver pulls up and asks directions, don’t get too close to the car so you can’t be grabbed.

  • Avoid passing too close to big bushes, dark doorways, alleys or any other places of concealment.

  • Walk facing oncoming traffic to make it easier to be seen if help is needed

  • Try to use the busier bus stops instead of the deserted ones.

  • If you must frequently walk alone at night, vary your route often

  • Don’t wear headphones while walking or jogging, even during the day in isolated areas you may not hear an attacker’s approach.

  • If you plan to jog alone, stay in public areas also carry and personal alarm system and mace or pepper spray.

  • If someone asks you for directions, and if you do choose to reply to them, remain at least 4 feet away.

  • If meeting friends out, let them know the route you are taking and when you plan to arrive.

  • Park in well lit areas

  • Be extra cautious when parking in parking garages – try and park near the exit/entrance. Ask a coworker to walk with you to the parking garage if at night

  • Try not to park next vans, you could be pulled into the van through the sliding door.

  • Check your rear view mirror often and if you think you are being followed, never drive to your home or pull over in a deserted area. Drive straight to the nearest police station, fire station, gas station, friends home or other well lit building and honk your horn until help arrives.

  • Have your keys in your hand while approaching your vehicle.

  • Never pick up a hitchhiker no matter nice they look.

  • Don’t stop to assist a disabled motorist instead call the police and ask them to go and help the motorist out.

  • Check the back seat, floor and under the car before approaching and entering your vehicle.



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