Officers from Bristol East, South Gloucestershire and Operation Remedy have been carrying out targeted patrols of the Bristol to Bath Railway path in recent weeks in response to a number of incidences of anti-social behaviour, sexual assault, theft and assault.
Officers arrested a 13-year-old boy on Tuesday 1 December in connection to reports of sexual assault on the path, who has since been released on bail pending further enquiries. A further arrest of a 14-year-old boy was made on December 10, in relation to serious assault on a lone female which took place near Brook Road, Kingswood on Monday December 7. He has been released under investigation.
High visibility patrols will continue on the path into the Christmas period and beyond.
Chief Inspector Paul Wigginton said: “We are committed to ensuring the Bristol to Bath Railway path is safe for all to use, and would like to assure the public that offences of this nature will not be tolerated.
“We are working closely with partner agencies to consider how the path can be made safer in the short and longer term.
“Following a period of increased proactive police activity, I’m pleased to report that we have made two arrests and that reports of incidents on the path have seen a marked reduction in the last ten days.
“However, we remain concerned about a number of distraction robberies on the path, in which mainly lone men have been targeted after offenders have placed obstacles on the path to slow down joggers and cyclists.
“Targeted patrols will be continuing over the coming weeks in an effort to apprehend offenders and we’re asking members of the public to remain vigilant.
“If you do experience or witness crime and/or anti-social behaviour on the path, our key message is always to report this to us as soon as possible on 101 (or 999 in an emergency) so that we can investigate.
“Don’t rely on social media as a way of sharing information with us – it’s vital that you get in touch.”
For further advice on personal safety, please visit our website.