Cordon put up at Ipswich's Stoke Bridge skate park after young woman reports being raped on December 15
PUBLISHED: 14:07 16 December 2016 | UPDATED: 14:15 16 December 2016
A popular skate park has been cordoned off by police this morning after a young woman reported being raped there.
Suffolk police were first called around 11.30pm yesterday, December 15, by someone who said a female friend had been the victim of a sexual assault.
The victim reported she had been walking in Ipswich around 10.30pm when she saw a man who had followed her, approached her and then led her into the skate park on Stoke Bridge where he raped her.
Specialist officers are working with the young woman and have started enquiries into what happened.
Police are asking anyone who may have seen a man and a woman in this area around 10pm to 11.30pm last night, or anyone who may have been in the skate park between these times, to come forward.
Forensic vans are at the scene and a police officer is manning the cordon.
She said she had no further comment to make at this time.
Police patrols are being stepped up following the incident.
Extra officers are being stationed in Ipswich tonight for Black Friday – one of the busiest days of the year for the emergency services as thousands hit the town for Christmas parties.
Suffolk police have been warning revellers of the dangers of excessive drinking during the festive season as part of their Safer Christmas campaign over the past few weeks – highlighting tips for personal safety on nights out.
Chief superintendent David Skevington said: “Policing isn’t just about enforcement, it’s also about preventing incidents from happening.
“This campaign is aimed at providing an insight into the types of incidents we typically deal with during the festive season, and encourage the public to be more aware of crime prevention.
“Excessive alcohol can have a harmful effect on people, intensifying emotions that lead to conflicts with families, friends and strangers; or lowering inhibitions that make them more vulnerable and susceptible to criminal activity.
“I would urge everyone to drink responsibly. If you’re going out, stay with your friends and look out for each other.
“Christmas is notoriously a busy time for us all, including for thieves. We know a high percentage of crime is opportunistic, and can be prevented by taking some simple safety precautions.
He added: “Whether you’re going out or staying in, keep yourselves safe this festive season.”
Other emergency services, including Essex Fire and Rescue Service, Essex Police and the East of England Ambulance Service are currently carrying out a 24 hour Twitter campaign for Black Friday.
Updates from ongoing incidents are being tweeted live from their control rooms throughout the day.
A spokesman for the ambulance service said: “Last year we received almost 3,200 calls on Black Friday – that’s a call every 30 seconds.”
Anyone with information about the reported rape in Ipswich should call Suffolk police on 101, quoting crime number 71924/16.