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12 December 2014, 05:06 | Updated: 12 December 2014, 05:26
A 15 year old girl has been sexually assaulted by a man in St Albans.
She was walking along Gurney Court Road when it happened at around 4:45pm on Monday (December 8). She became aware of a man crossing Marshalswick Lane towards her.
A short time later she was approached from behind and sexually assaulted by him. As she turned around she saw the offender running off towards Marshalswick.
The suspect is described as in his mid-20s who was around 5ft 9ins tall. He had dark stubble on his face.
Detective Constable Stuart Alexander said: “Whilst it was dark at the time of the incident, it wasn’t late and I am sure there will have been people in the area who could assist us in identifying the offender. I would like to appeal to anyone who has in the area at the time and saw a man acting suspiciously to contact me with information.
“I would like to reassure residents that these incidents are not commonplace in St Albans however, I would ask people to consider the following safety advice when out and about – particularly now the darker nights are here.”
Anyone who can assist DC Alexander should call the Herts Police non-emergency number 101 quoting crime reference number F1/14/4012. Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Police have issued the following advice:
Stick to busy areas
Avoid short cuts through quiet, unlit, secluded or wooded areas and alleyways
Try to keep with friends rather than walk alone
Don’t speak to strangers
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 believe someone is following you, go to the nearest busy place, such as a petrol station.