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12 December 2016, 15:03
Police in Watford are investigating reports of a sexual assault in town.
Detectives say sometime between 12.20 & 12.40am on Sunday, a 19 year-old woman was assaulted by a man in the area of Sainsbury's car park, close to Albert Road South. The man made off in an unknown direction following the incident.
It is believed that the woman left the Prism nightclub with three female friends at around 11pm and had been with a one of those friends in area of the car park for some time before the incident took place. It is thought during that time they spoke with various other groups of people who were passing by as well.
Detectives are currently establishing the circumstances around the incident and are keen to trace those people or anyone else who might have been in the area at the time and seen them.
Detective Chief Inspector Richard Wall said:
"Although the incident occurred after midnight, we believe the area would have been busy at the time, with many people out attending Christmas parties and enjoying the night time economy in Watford.
There would also have been staff working in local businesses who may have seen something and many taxi drivers in the area at the time, who may have dash cam footage recorded in the area at the time.
I would appeal to anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area around this time or who saw or spoke to a group of women around that location to get in touch as soon as possible."
Anyone with information should contact the investigation team via the incident room number 01707 355666. Alternatively, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via their website www.crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will never need to go to court.
Throughout December, Hertfordshire Constabulary is running Operation Advisory patrols in town centres around the county. The campaign is aimed at reducing the number of sexual assaults relating to the night time economy.
Officers will be handing out branded mints, lip balms and water bottles and engaging with partygoers raising awareness of the subject.