Police warning after late night sex assault on girl, 14

Duke Street, Whitehaven
Duke Street, Whitehaven
18 July 2017 12:06PM

A teenage girl was sexually assaulted after being persuaded to get into a stranger’s car.

The 14-year-old was picked up by the man on one of Whitehaven’s busiest streets shortly before midnight.

She had been walking along Duke Street between 11.45pm and midnight on Friday when the stranger stopped in a large light-coloured estate vehicle and offered her a lift.

The man, aged about 40, then sexually assaulted the girl while they were both inside the car.

He is described as being of large build and with rough skin. He had very short spikey grey hair with dark brown parts and spoke with a local accent.

Appeals for information have been launched following the assault, as officers move to reassure the public that this is being treated as an “isolated incident”.

However, detectives are reminding people of the importance of never getting into vehicles with strangers – and urging them to report suspicious incidents.

Vicki Coombes, temporary detective inspector, said: “If any member of the public is offered a lift by someone that doesn’t have official identification, and a licenced vehicle, we would advise you to be cautious, say no, and to report it to the police.

“All incidents of sexual assault are abhorrent and we will pursue perpetrators to bring them to justice. I would like to reassure victims that all reports are dealt with sensitively and professionally.

“We work very closely with victims and partner agencies to support victims through this distressing time.”

She confirmed that the teenage victim did not know her attacker and there had been no pre-arranged meeting.

Det Insp Coombes added: “We take all reports of sexual assault seriously and will continue to work hard to ensure that offenders are taken off our streets.

“If anyone has any information, we would urge them to contact police on 101, even if you feel it might be insignificant. Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.”

If you have been affected by rape or sexual assault, contact The Bridgeway Sexual Assault Support Service’s 24/7 free helpline on 0808 118 6432.

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