Investigation Into String Of Sex Attacks

Police say they think two sex attacks on women in Southampton this week are linked and they're investigating a series of similar offences across the city.

The first happened at around 10pm on Tuesday, February 28. A 20-year-old woman was walking in Portswood Road away from the junction with Highfield Lane when she was approached by an Asian man. He started talking to her and walked with her along Portswood Road and into Grosvenor Road. The man then pushed the woman against a wall and indecently assaulted her. The woman pushed the man back and he walked off.

Then a 25-year-old woman was assaulted a few hours later, between 6.30am and 7am on Wednesday, February 29. She was walking alone in Havelock Road, near to The Civic Centre. As she approached the main pedestrian entrance to the Matalan store in The Marlands, she noticed a man standing outside who suddenly grabbed and indecently assaulted her. The victim freed herself and the man walked off towards the Civic Centre.

A third attack at knifepoint in Bannister Road isn't being connected to the other two at this stage.

In both of the other cases the offender was described as:

Aged 25 – 35 years old
5ft 2ins to 5ft 6ins tall
Medium build
Short dark hair

Officers say they've spoken to a number of potential witnesses this week and think thee assaults may be one of a series in the area.

Detective Inspector Dave Morgan said:

“We have heard from a number of people in relation to these two incidents, and from the information received we are now investigating a possible series of similar offences in the city, some are in the Portswood area in roads near to the University, and some in the City Centre near to Palmerston Road.

"At this time we are keeping an open mind whether these offences are linked, or not.

"I’d like to remind anyone who has not yet contacted us to get in touch is you have any information that may be important.

"These incidents left two women extremely distressed and no one deserves to be targeted in this way. If you can help us identify who is responsible, please contact us.”

Anyone with any information should call Southampton Central police station on 101 or the Crimestoppers charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.