Police appeal for information after woman was raped in Bedford

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Police Appeal witness

Bedfordshire Police is appealing for information after an 18-year-old woman was raped on Friday (16 April).

At around 9pm, the woman was with a younger girl in some woods near to The Spinney, when they were approached by a man who engaged in conversation with them. He then raped her.

The man fled the scene in the direction of the Travelodge hotel on Goldington Road.

The offender is described as black, around six foot tall, with braided hair. He was wearing a navy blue Adidas tracksuit.

Detective Inspector Michelle Lack, from Bedfordshire Police’s RASSO team, which investigates sexual offences, said: “We are taking this incident extremely seriously and wish to find this man as soon as possible.

“This attack was extremely distressing for this young woman and her friend, and our team of specialist officers is working with them and supporting them.

“We would like to speak to anyone who was in the area at the time of the incident or anyone who may have seen this man.

“We understand that this will be concerning for local residents, and I’d like to reassure them that we are doing all we can to find the man responsible.”

Anyone with information is asked to report via the force’s online reporting centre, quoting Operation Elegy.

Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Victims of rape and sexual assault can receive support and guidance from Bedfordshire Police and partner agencies including the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC), as well as support through the criminal investigation process.

Reports can be made to police on 101.

You can also contact Bedfordshire’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) the Emerald Centre, by visiting www.emeraldcentre.org, emailing info@emeraldcentre.org or calling 01234 897052.

If you have been affected by crime, Signpost offers free and confidential support to victims in Bedfordshire, whether it has been reported to police or not, and irrespective of where and when the crime occurred.

Contact 0800 0282887 or visit https://www.signpostforbedfordshire.com/ for further information.