Police continue to investigate man suspected of indecent exposures since 2019

Crime / Thu 27th May 2021 at 05:25pm

POLICE are hunting a man believed to be responsible for a three-year campaign of indecent exposure incidents across west Essex and Hertfordshire.

Police forces for both counties believe the offences stretching back to summer of 2019 are linked.

There have now been around 30 similar offences reported across Spellbrook, High Wych, Sawbridgeworth and Harlow, mainly along the River Stort towpath or in the orchard at High Wych.

The incidents were first reported in the summer of 2019 and have continued each year as the weather starts to improve, police say.

On the majority of occasions, a man is reported to have appeared, wearing nothing but a pair of boots and a mask of some description. He then runs away.

The suspect is described as white, aged 20-30, around 6 foot tall, of muscular build, with dark hair.

Sergeant Matt Hughes, from Essex Police, said: “We fully appreciate that these incidents are causing a lot of concern within the local community. While none of the victims have been touched or followed during these incidents they are, understandably, still very distressing to witness.

“We are aware there is a perception on social media that police are not doing anything about this issue, but I want to reassure people that this is not the case. Just because you can’t always see us, it doesn’t mean we aren’t there. We continue to work closely with our colleagues in Herts to trace this individual.”

Sawbridgeworth Neighbourhood Sergeant Theresa Funes-Walker said: “We continue to work closely with our colleagues at Essex Police to investigate this series, but we also need the public to help us.

“We would also urge anyone who has witnessed a similar incident and hasn’t yet contacted police to please report it. It is really important that incidents are officially recorded by police, rather than just posted on social media.

“Lastly, I would appeal to the suspect to please hand himself in to police. This kind of behaviour is simply not acceptable, as it frightens and upsets people. We want to help you get any support you may need.”

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