An arrest has been made by officers investigating a serious sexual assault at a nature reserve in Bradley Stoke, which is now being linked to other offences.
The initial incident happened at the Three Brooks Nature Reserve on the evening of Thursday 4 August, in which a woman was seriously sexually assaulted by a man while out walking.
We’re now linking this offence to an incident in which a woman was sexually assaulted by being touched inappropriately while in the nature reserve, sometime between 3.10pm and 5.10pm on Tuesday 23 August, as well as a further incident in Savages Wood in which a woman in her forties was pushed over by a man and sexually assaulted. This incident happened sometime between 5.30pm and just before 6pm on Thursday 1 September.
Yesterday evening (Tuesday 6 September), a 36-year-old man was arrested in connection with the three offences, and he’s now in custody.
Insp Jon Nash, of the Neighbourhood Policing team, said: “We know this development in the investigation will be of concern to the local community and we have increased our reassurance patrols of the area in response. We’d encourage any local residents with worries or concerns to speak to the local Neighbourhood Policing team, or any officer on patrol in the area.
“The investigation is being led by Operation Bluestone, our specialist team of officers and staff dedicated to investigating rape and serious sexual assault offences.
“We’ve updated the victims about the developments in this investigation and we’ll be keeping them fully updated as we progress our enquiries further. They will be offered access to any help or support they may need.
“We’re continuing to appeal to the public and local community to continue providing information to us and, as well as the additional patrols, officers will be carrying out further house-to-house enquiries in the Bradley Stoke area.
“We’d appeal to residents to come forward if they have any information which could assist our ongoing investigation, as well as any relevant CCTV, dashcam or doorbell footage, in and around the timeframes of the offences listed above.”
If you can help, please call us on 101 and give the call handler the reference number 5222189662. If you don’t want to speak to the police, you can call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. They never ask for your name or trace your call.
Victims of rape or sexual assault, recent or non-recent, can self-refer to The Bridge, a Sexual Assault Referral Centre available 24/7 365 days a year. Visit their website via this link or call 0117 342 6999.
You can also visit www.thisisnotanexcuse.org for details of charities and organisations who are experts in supporting victims.
If you feel unsafe in a public place you can report it via the StreetSafe tool. The tool helps to inform our approach to protecting women and girls and allows police and partners to target particular areas of concern. You can find StreetSafe through clicking this link