A NINE-YEAR-OLD girl has been the victim of an attempted sexual assault.
Thames Valley Police is now appealing for witnesses and asking the public to be vigilant after the assault in the Loughton area yesterday afternoon.
The girl was walking in Linceslade Grove between 3.15pm and 4pm when she was approached by a man who engaged her in conversation. He offered to show her a short cut and led her off the path to a more secluded area near Lodge Lake, where he attempted to pull her trousers down. A struggle ensued, during which the man slapped the girl’s face. She managed to break free and run off.
The incident is being treated as an attempted sexual assault.
The man is described as light skinned, in his thirties, about 5ft 9ins. He has very light blue bulging eyes, a long nose, tensed lips and tight cheeks. He was wearing black clothing and a black thermos hat.
After the incident the girl saw a woman who was feeding some ducks on the lake and asked her for help. It is believed that this woman went to try and speak to the man. Detectives are appealing for this woman to come forward to assist with their enquires.
The woman is described as being in her seventies to eighties, quite small and slim. She was wearing a green and purple jacket and a long black skirt. She had with her a multi-coloured dog with long, pointed ears.
Detective Sergeant Luke Grove, investigating the incident, said: “This was a worrying incident, not to mention traumatic for the victim. Thankfully she wasn’t seriously injured.
“We urge anyone who witnessed any suspicious activity in the area, or recognises the description of the man, to come forward immediately. It is particularly important that we trace the woman who was feeding the ducks and had a dog with her; we ask this woman to get in touch as soon as possible.
“At this stage, this appears to be an isolated incident. While we certainly do not want people to panic, we do urge people to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity immediately. We also remind people to take personal safety precautions when out and about.
“As a precaution we are liaising with local schools to ensure that children and their parents are given appropriate safety advice.”
Please click on the following link for Thames Valley Police’s Personal safety advice
Anyone with any information about the incident is asked to contact Sgt Grove at Milton Keynes CID via the 24-hour Police Enquiry Centre on 101. If you don’t want to speak to police or give your name, please call the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.