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Police patrols stepped up after intruder sexually assaults woman in her own home

PUBLISHED: 07:00 06 July 2018 | UPDATED: 16:59 06 July 2018

DCI Barry Byford outside Lowestoft Police Station.
Picture: Nick Butcher

DCI Barry Byford outside Lowestoft Police Station. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2018

Police patrols have been increased across Lowestoft "for the foreseeable future" as the hunt for the intruder who sexually assaulted a woman in her own home continues.

DCI Barry Byford outside Lowestoft Police Station.
Picture: Nick ButcherDCI Barry Byford outside Lowestoft Police Station. Picture: Nick Butcher

At around 11.50pm on Thursday, June 28, the attacker entered a home in the Yarmouth Road area, he left when disturbed and was spotted heading in the direction of Hollingsworth Road.

A man was also seen looking through the window of another home in the same road around an hour before.

The crime has left the community in a state of shock and a major operation is currently under way to catch the man responsible.

Operation Sidcup is being headed by Detective Chief Inspector Barry Byford who admitted the nature of the crime has “caused wider concern, both personally and for the police.”

He said: “It is a really unusual crime. I’ve been in the job for 26 years and this is the first time I’ve dealt with one like this.

“There will be increased patrols in Lowestoft for the foreseeable future and we have spoken to Suffolk County Council who will be keeping street lights in the area switched on all night.”

As part of the investigation a dedicated team will be conducting house-to-house enquiries, collecting CCTV from an area covering roughly 200 houses and exploring forensic options.

Det Chief Insp Byford said: “It was dark in the room and the victim got a very poor look at the person; by focusing on this area we give ourselves the best chance of capturing someone on CCTV.

“We are asking anyone who was in the area between 10pm and 1am to get in touch so we can pick their brains, first of all so we can rule them out but they may also have some information they don’t realise is important.”

The inspector again reminded residents to make sure their homes are secure at night and said: “Make sure you have good doors and good windows and make sure you use them.

“It’s hot and people want to stay cool but staying warm and safe is better.”

He added: “Suffolk as a county does remain very safe and this type of incident does remain rare.”

Last night uniform officers carried out a series of anniversary checks a week on from the attack to gain more information from people who regularly travel through the area.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Suffolk Police on 101 quoting reference 35765/18, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Community leaders

Community leaders across Lowestoft have spoken out about the heinous attack and encouraged people of the town to do all they can to help the police and stay safe.

Mayor Ian Graham said: “Everyone on the town council is gobsmacked this could happen here.”

Mr Graham, who has lived in the town all his life, added: “There have been some nasty crimes in the town in the past but to be honest things like this sicken me.

“The council is dedicated to doing what we can to stop crime in the town and are looking to increase CCTV so those who commit these crimes are caught.”

Waveney MP Peter Aldous was equally appalled by the crime and said: “The fact it has happened in such a close knit community causes a lot of worry.

“Everyone, even in this warm weather, must be making sure their windows are locked.”

He added: “It is important that any suspicious activity is reported to the police to bring the perpetrator to justice.”

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