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Second rape at Latitude Festival

PUBLISHED: 19:06 18 July 2010 | UPDATED: 21:56 01 August 2010

A man has been arrested following a second allegation of rape at the Latitude Festival.

A girl in her mid-teens from Suffolk contacted police on Saturday to report she had been raped in a tent on the campsite on Friday night.

A man has been arrested following a second allegation of rape at the Latitude Festival.

A girl in her mid-teens from Suffolk contacted police on Saturday to report she had been raped in a tent on the campsite on Friday night.

Officers went to the site and with help from the teenager's friends located the tent where the rape is alleged to have happened.

A 19-year-old man from Essex was arrested at about 9.10pm last night and is currently in custody at Lowestoft Police Station.

Police are saying there does not appear to be any link to the first incident where a teenager was raped by a stranger on Thursday night, July 15.

Last night uniformed police officers carried out joint patrols with security staff employed by the organisers Festival Republic and handed out flyers on the site carrying a simple appeal for information following Thursday's incident.

Officers are also planning to send messages to Bluetooth enabled mobile phones on the site in order to reach as many potential witnesses to the rape as possible.

The woman had left her tent in the red area of the campsite at about 10pm to 10.30pm to find the toilet but lost her bearings and approached a group of young men for help.

After walking with the group for some distance some of the males left to go in another direction while the other males led the victim off a path and into a wooded area where she was raped by at least one of them.

Police are continuing to appeal for help in locating this group, which included one man described as white with dark curly hair, around 5ft 7ins tall, of medium build, possibly in his 20s and with a cockney accent and described as “looking like a student”.

Officers also still need to speak to anyone who was approached by a young woman asking for directions on the site at this time on Thursday.

At the time the young woman was wearing denim jeggings, a yellow and white check shirt, a black cardigan and Wellington boots.

Latitude organiser Melvin Benn has spoken of his devastation following the news.

Mr Benn, who was accompanied by Supt Ian Sidney of Suffolk police, talked of his distress at an emergency press conference on Sunday afternoon.

He said: “I'm distraught by what has happened and I want to reassure the public that we are working very hard on this- we are all upset about this here.”

“We can't ignore what has happened, but this really is an incredibly safe festival.”

Insp Sidney said the police were maintaining a presence at the festival, with eight officers patrolling the site since Friday. He said: “Both women are currently being seen by specialists officers and are being offered ongoing support.

“The festival is well organised and well run to provide a safe environment and we need to keep this in perspective, a large number of people are here safely.”

A further 20 stewards have been brought on site, adding to the 20 extra introduced following news of the first incident.

Police officers are renewing appeals for anyone with information to call Suffolk Police on 01473 613500 and are still urging groups of friends to stay together and “look out for each other”.

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