Police renew appeal for help following two sexual assaults in Barnstaple

Detective Inspector Rob Back has launched a renewed appeal following the two assaults.

Police have renewed an appeal for witnesses and information after two women were sexually assaulted in the same area of Barnstaple.

The attacks happened within the space of a week, however detectives say they're keeping an open mind as to whether they are linked.

The first happened in the Gorwell Estate area of Bear Street between 3.15am and 3.40am on Sunday 25 September.

The second then took place on the corner of Derby Road and Beaufort Walk in the Bear Street area between 2.30am and 3.15am on Sunday 2 October.

Devon and Cornwall Police officers are now asking for help in finding the owner or driver of a dark-coloured Mercedes-Benz E-Class estate that was seen in the area around the time of the attacks.

  • CCTV footage showing the Mercedez-Benz E Class estate being driven

Detective Inspector Rob Back from the Major Crime Investigation Team said: “We continue to investigate two separate incidents of sexual assault which took place in the Bear Street Area of Barnstaple.

“My team continue to work tirelessly on this case and we will leave no stone unturned until we find who is responsible.”

Sector Inspector for Barnstaple Andrew Wills added: “These attacks have understandably caused significant concern in the local community, and women should be able to go out at night without feeling unsafe or at risk.

“I want to reassure you that we are doing everything we can to make sure Barnstaple is a safe place, which everyone can enjoy without fear of violence or intimidation."

  • Police have released a video showing where the two assaults took place

He said a dedicated investigation team is carrying out enquiries at pace and the force has deployed plain clothed and uniformed officers on patrol in and around Barnstaple's nightspots, as well as in areas where people have reported feeling unsafe.

Inspector Wills added: “Officers undertaking these patrols will hold offenders to account, and provide a reassuring, visible, and approachable presence.

“We ask that as investigations continue, please remain vigilant, and keep yourselves and those around you safe. We can all play a role in identifying and preventing unacceptable behaviour; ensuring people treat others with basic dignity and respect."

Anybody who sees anything suspicious is being urged to report it to the police.

Any information that may assist the investigation can be reported on Devon and Cornwall Police's Major Incident Public Portal Site, which can be found here or by calling 101 and quoting Operation Los Angeles.