Police launch appeal after sexual assault of woman in St Albans

A police appeal for information has been launched

A police appeal for information has been launched - Credit: Archant

An investigation has been launched after a 20 year old woman reported being sexually assaulted early one morning on a college track in St Albans.

At about 7.30am on Tuesday January 20, the woman was walking along North Drive, a track situated near animal pens at Oaklands College which joins Sandpit Lane to the Smallford campus.

She was approached from behind by the offender, who pushed her to the ground before sexually assaulting her.

Herts Police are appealing for witnesses and information following the sexual assault, which has recently been reported to the force.

Detective Constable Matt Tipper from the specialist Sexual Offences Investigation Unit said the suspect was described as a man of slim build who had a dark brown beard.

He was wearing a dark coloured hooded top with the hood up. Following the assault he ran off towards Sandpit Lane.

DC Tipper said: “If you were in the area at the time and remember anything which could prove useful to this investigation then please call me.

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“Perhaps you saw someone acting suspiciously or someone matching the description of the offender. If you can help, please call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

“I would also like to reassure members of the public that incidents of this nature are not common place in the area and that we are fully investigating the matter.”

The police have also issued safety advice, adding that while Herts remains one of the safest counties, girls and women “should be on their guard and take common sense measures to safeguard their personal safety”.

For example:

• Don’t use iPods or personal stereo headphones while walking or jogging as you may not be able to hear someone approaching

• Stick to busy areas

• Avoid short cuts through quiet, unlit, secluded or wooded areas and alleyways

• If you believe someone is following you, go to the nearest busy place such as a petrol station

• Stay alert and take a mobile phone with you

• Make sure someone knows where you are going and tell them when you have arrived