CCTV image released after girl assaulted

7 March 2011, 11:56 | Updated: 9 March 2011, 15:28

Police are releasing CCTV footage of a man they would like to trace as part of an investigation into an incident in South Oxhey, Watford on Monday, December 20, 2010.

At around 8.45pm a 12 year old girl had been walking along Oxhey Drive when she was approached by a man who grabbed her and inappropriately touched her. The offender ran off after being disturbed by the victim's father, who had been walking a short distance behind his daughter. The offender has possibly run through the woods and come out on Sandy Lane, Watford.

Detective Inspector Paul Watts is investigating and said: "This incident occurred on the Monday before Christmas when we had the snow. We would like to trace the person seen on this CCTV footage. This footage shows a person walking along Sandy Lane, South Oxhey in the direction towards Northwood. At this stage we do not believe this person was involved in the incident but may have seen something which could prove vital to the investigation.

"A number of cars drove along Sandy Lane and I would also like to speak to you if you were in one of those vehicles.

"Although not a common occurrence, understandably these types of incidents are of concern to residents. I would like to reassure the community we are taking this extremely seriously. Extra high visibility patrols are taking place but we would also like to remind children and their parents to consider some safety advice, particularly during the hours of darkness."

Anyone with information is asked to call the Hertfordshire Constabulary non-emergency number on 0845 3300 222. Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Advice to children about personal safety:

  • Stay alert
  • Ensure you are with someone rather than walk alone. Stick to busy and well-lit areas. Don't speak to strangers. Avoid short cuts through quiet, unlit, secluded or wooded areas and alleyways
  • Make sure someone knows where you are going and tell them when you've arrived.
  • If you believe someone is following you, go to the nearest busy place, such as a petrol station Take a mobile phone with you if you have one