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Police manhunt after alleyway sex attack on girl
9:36am Friday 14th September 2012 in News
POLICE have appealed for witnesses after a serious sex attack on a young girl in a North Yorkshire town.
A man is believed to have approached the victim in an alleyway between New Quay Road and Baxtergate, in Whitby, between 8.30pm and 9pm on Wednesday and assaulted her, before she managed to escape on her bike.
She told a friend what had happened and police were alerted. Specialist police and medical support has been provided to the girl - whose age has not been confirmed - and an investigation has been launched into the attack, while North Yorkshire Police has also stepped up patrols in the town to reassure residents.
The force wants to hear from anybody who saw the crime or any suspicious activity in the area on Wednesday evening, or who remembers seeing a girl riding a bike in the town centre between 8.30pm and 9pm on Wednesday.
Detective Chief Inspector Keith Ruff, who is leading the investigation, said: "This is a very disturbing incident which has left the young victim and her loved ones extremely frightened and shocked.
"It is vital that people come forward as soon as possible if they have information. No matter how small or seemingly insignificant the information may appear to be, please do the right thing and make contact with the police so we can determine its importance."
DCI Ruff said such attacks were "very rare" and it was "unusual" that the crime had taken out early in the evening and in a busy part of the town centre.
Anybody with information should phone North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option one and ask for the force control room, or contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555111. Callers should quote the crime reference number 12120153100.