E-fit issued of man suspected of raping teenager near old rail track
- Credit: Norfolk Police
Police have released an image of a man they are looking for in connection with the rape of a teenage girl in rural Norfolk.
It relates to an incident that happened at around 3pm on Sunday, February 28 in an area of disused rail track off Mill Road in Great Ryburgh, near Fakenham.
The police's e-fit image shows a white man aged roughly in his 50s with balding grey hair and a moustache, who is believed to be around 6ft tall.
Detective Chief Inspector Phil Gray, of the Major Investigation Team, said: “It is understandable that incidents like this are likely to cause concern amongst the local community, especially as the issues around women’s safety have been highlighted nationally following the tragic circumstances surrounding the kidnap and murder of Sarah Everard.
“However, In Norfolk, incidents of this nature are rare.
"We must be careful not to allow people to fear crime disproportionately or allow it to affect their lives."
DCI Gray said that of violent crimes reported to Norfolk police in the past 12 months, none had been identified as being committed by a stranger. He said the Great Ryburgh rape was the only rape in Norfolk police had identified as being committed by a stranger in the past 12 months.
Officers are keen to speak with anyone who may recognise the man, or with any walkers, horse riders and drivers who were in the area at the time.
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DCI Gray said: "We would like to hear from anyone who may have been in the area throughout the day.
"It was very sunny and therefore it is likely that people were taking the opportunity to get some fresh air or exercise and may have seen this man in the area. We would also encourage anyone with CCTV or dashcam footage of the Great Ryburgh area during the times stated to come forward.
"We are continuing to pursue a number of lines of enquiry and have spoken with witnesses who were in the area at the time as well as conducting house to house enquiries.
“I would like to reassure members of the public that we continue to work around the clock to ensure that this incident is fully investigated by the Major Investigation Team and we encourage members of the community to engage with local officers in the area, in order to raise any concerns, they may have."
DCI Gray said he had a team of around 20 officers and police staff, all of whom were working full time on the case. He added: "We've also got beat managers and local officers who will be continuing reassurance patrols and specialist officers who are supporting the victim."
He said they had so far taken about 40 witness statements, but there were bound to be more people out there who could help in the hunt for the culprit.
DCI Gray said: "I would urge people to take themselves back to that time and think about what they were doing, and if they saw any people or vehicles they didn't recognise."
A public portal has been set-up encouraging witnesses or anyone with information to come forward. The portal allows members of the public to send information directly to the Major Investigation Team, and can be found at: https://mipp.police.uk/operation/363719P01-PO1
The team can also be reached via a dedicated phone line, 0800 056 0944.