Weston-super-Mare: Flasher Alert

14 January 2015, 11:30 | Updated: 14 January 2015, 11:47

Police in Weston-super-Mare are urging women to 'be aware' about reports of a flasher or flashers in the town. They are suggesting women don't wear headphones so they can hear what is going on around them.

There have been 9 incidents in recent months - police aren't sure if they are linked but are looking at the possibility.

They are telling Heart on Wednesday 7th January - a 28-year-old woman was walking along Coombe Road at about 5pm when a man crossed the road and exposed his underwear to her.

Other recent incidents:

  • Two incidents reported on Christmas Eve. The first was at 8.20pm. A 17-year-old woman was with two friends in Montpelier, by the steps leading to Stafford Place, when a man approached them and exposed himself.
    At 8.40pm a woman aged 21 had just returned to her car, parked in Southside, when a man exposed himself to her through the closed driver's window.
  • On Friday 5 December at about 8pm a 24-year-old woman was walking along Bristol Road Lower when a man exposed himself to her. She ran to a nearby house and he made off.
  • On Saturday 15 November a man exposed himself to two women in Longton Grove Road before running off when they said they were calling the police.
  • Now officers are investigating a possible link between those cases and others reported in October, when there were three reports of indecent exposure over one weekend - October 17 to 19 - in the Boulevard, Southside and Weston Woods. A man arrested in connection with those incidents was later eliminated from the enquiry.
  • Police had a further report of a man exposing himself to an elderly woman as she sat in her home in the Kelston Road area at about 1.45pm on Tuesday 14 October.

Neighbourhood PC Gemma Harper said: "This sort of incident is not common in Weston, but we have now had nine incidents reported to us in three months. While we can't say for sure that they are linked, the description of the suspect in each case is quite similar - a white man in his late teens to mid 20s, clean shaven and slim, wearing jogging bottoms and a dark coloured hooded top.

"I would ask anyone who has an experience like this to report it immediately on 999. We have carried out house-to-house enquiries in each area, but we'd like to hear from anyone with any information about these offences. Contact us through our website or by calling 101 quoting reference 2508/15. Alternatively contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. They never ask your name of trace your call."

They say key advice for women includes:

  • Always make sure someone knows where you'll be and when you'll be back
  • Avoid wearing headphones so you can hear what's going on around you
  • Vary your route if you regularly jog or walk