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8 August 2014, 15:05 | Updated: 8 August 2014, 15:10
Police are appealing for information and help to identify a man they would like to speak to in connection with a series of sexual assaults in Watford.
Officers are also issuing safety advice to women whilst efforts are made to identify the offender.
The incidents have occurred around the Vicarage Road, Wiggenhall Road and Exchange Road areas of Watford. The offender has been approaching women and grabbing their buttocks.
Detective Sergeant Matthew Waylett, from the Watford Local Crime Unit said: “We believe these incidents are linked due to the description of the offender, the nature of the incidents and the locations they have taken place. I can reassure residents that I have a team of detectives working hard to identify, trace and arrest the man responsible. We have also increased police patrols in the area to protect the public and to reduce the potential of further similar incidents.
Officers have released an image of a man they wish to speak to in connection with the investigation.
Sergeant Waylett added: “The man pictured may have vital information about what happened and I would urge the public to contact us if they can identify him. He is wearing a distinctive pair of Simpson’s cartoon slippers. I would also like to speak to anyone who believes they may have witnessed these incidents or has been approached by a man in the area in similar circumstances to contact us. Whilst our investigations take place I would urge women and girls in the area to take note of some safety advice, including remaining alert when walking alone, being aware of your surroundings and sticking to busy, well lit areas.”
Whilst incidents such as these are very uncommon in Hertfordshire, girls and women should be on their guard and take these common sense measures to safeguard their personal safety.
· Stick to busy and well-lit areas
· Avoid short cuts through quiet, unlit, secluded or wooded areas and alleyways
· Stay alert
· Don’t use iPods or personal stereo headphones whilst walking or jogging because you may not be able to hear someone approaching
· Make sure someone knows where you are going and tell them when you’ve arrived
· If you think someone is following you, go to the nearest busy place
· Take a mobile phone with you.