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Renewed public appeal following sexual assaults in Barnstaple


Detectives from the Major Crime Investigation Team have renewed their appeal as they continue to investigate two sexual assaults which took place in the Bear Street Area of Barnstaple.

The first incident took place in Barnstaple on Sunday 25 September which happened in the Gorwell Estate area of Bear Street between 3.15am and 3.40am.

The second assault took place on the corner of Derby Road and Beaufort Walk between 2.30am and 3.15am on Sunday 2 October.

The investigation team are keeping an open mind as to whether the incidents are linked.

Detectives are now asking the public to assist in identifying the owner or driver of the vehicle pictured, which is a dark-coloured Mercedes-Benz E-Class estate.

Images can be seen via the Devon & Cornwall police website here.

Detective Inspector Rob Back from the Major Crime Investigation Team said: “We continue to investigate two separate incidents of sexual assault which took place in the Bear Street Area of Barnstaple.

“The Mercedes car, which is dark in colour, was seen in the area around the time of the incidents and may have vital information which could assist us with our enquiries.

“We have also released CCTV images which we hope will trigger people’s memories or appeal to those who know the possible owner or user of such a vehicle.

“My team continue to work tirelessly on this case and we will leave no stone unturned until we find who is responsible.”

Sector Inspector for Barnstaple Andrew Wills said: “These attacks have understandably caused significant concern in the local community, and women should be able to go out at night without feeling unsafe or at risk.

“I want to reassure you that we are doing everything we can to make sure Barnstaple is a safe place, which everyone can enjoy without fear of violence or intimidation.

“As well as the dedicated investigation team who are carrying out enquiries at pace, we have plain clothed and uniformed patrols in and around the town’s nightspots, and in areas where people have reported feeling unsafe or subject of unwanted behaviour.

“Officers undertaking these patrols will hold offenders to account, and provide a reassuring, visible, and approachable presence.

“We ask that as investigations continue, please remain vigilant, and keep yourselves and those around you safe. We can all play a role in identifying and preventing unacceptable behaviour; ensuring people treat others with basic dignity and respect.

“Please report anything suspicious to the police and feel confident to report behaviour that has made you feel uncomfortable in bars and clubs to venue staff.

“We ask you to carefully consider whether you can provide information which will help bring the offender for each of these incidents to justice.”

Anyone with information which may assist on this case is asked to report this using the police Major Incident Public Portal Site which can be found here.

For anyone who is unable to use the Major Incident Public Portal is asked to contact police via 101 quoting log number 218 18/11/22.

Alternatively, information can be passed anonymously to independent charity Crimestoppers online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org or by phone 0800 555 111.


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