Police appeal for information in Castle Road rape investigation

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A police cordon was in place for several days after the incident

Officers from Bedfordshire Police are hoping that some of the many people in and around Bedford town centre following the Euro 2020 final can help them with their enquiries after a woman was raped in Bedford in the early hours of Monday 12 July.

At around 12.30am, the woman, who is in her 20s, was walking along Castle Road, near the junction with Newnham Road, when a man forced her into some bushes near the gateway to the Higgins museum and raped her.

The offender left the scene when he heard people walking nearby.

Now officers are looking to trace a man who was near the scene of the incident and who may have information.

He is described as around 6’2”, white, with brown highlighted hair, worn in a “man bun”.

He was wearing a navy blue flannel-type checked shirt, with a white top underneath, and was headed in the direction of the John Bunyan Museum.

Detective Inspector Michelle Lack, from Bedfordshire Police’s RASSO team, which investigates sexual offences, said: “We are taking this incident very seriously and wish to find this man as soon as possible as he may have information that can assist our enquiry.

“This attack was extremely distressing, and our team of specialist officers is supporting the victim.

“It was the night of the England v Italy Euro final, and there were many people out in Bedford town centre into the early hours.

“We have already been following a number of lines of enquiry and are keen to speak to anyone who was in the area at the time of the incident or anyone who may have seen anything suspicious.

“We understand that this will be of some concern to 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 Identify.

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