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Patrols increased in response to indecent exposures in East Herts

10 Jul 2020
  • There have been 10 incidents reported to police in 2020 so far.

  • None of the suspects have touched or followed victims.

  • Police are asking anyone who witnesses similar incidents to call 999 straightaway.

Police have stepped up reassurance patrols across East Herts following a series of indecent exposure incidents across the area.

Since January 1, 2020, there have been 10 incidents reported to police across East Herts, as follows:

• Ware – five incidents

• Bishop’s Stortford - four (three separate incidents, but one with two victims)

• Buntingford - one

East Herts Chief Inspector Stuart Orton said: “I fully appreciate that incidents of this nature will cause alarm within the local community, especially where they have been witnessed by children. While none of the victims have been touched or followed during these incidents they are, understandably, still very distressing to witness.

“As a result, we have stepped up patrols in affected areas and continue our enquiries to identify anyone involved. If you witness an incident of this nature, please call 999 straight away so that we have the best possible chance of locating any suspects and capturing evidence. Downloading the What3Words app will help to pinpoint an exact location for officers to attend.

“Descriptions of the suspects have varied in each of the incidents so far, so we would also ask people to please give as much information as possible about what the suspect looks like.

“We are also taking steps to try and understand why people might commit such acts, in order to deter them from doing so. This kind of behaviour is simply not acceptable, as it frightens and upsets people. We will not hesitate to arrest anyone who is identified as a suspect.”

CI Orton continued: “While we acknowledge that there has been an increase in indecent exposures in recent weeks in particular, we are also aware of false reports circulating on social media around other sexual offences being committed, which have been increasing the fear of crime. Please be mindful of speculation on social media and if you have any concerns, contact your local Safer Neighbourhood Team.

“East Herts is a safe place to live, work and visit and my officers are working hard every day to ensure this remains the case. You can tell us what you think we should be focusing our efforts on locally via the digital feedback platform echo and keep up to date with how we’re responding to this feedback by following us on Twitter @EastHertsPolice.”

If you have any information about the identities of the people involved in these incidents, you can report this online, speak to an operator in our Force Communications Room via our online web chat or call the non-emergency number 101.

Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or report information online.

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