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Appeal after man approaches women

Officers looking over a balcony.

We’re appealing for information and carrying out targeted patrols after a woman and a teenage schoolgirl were indecently assaulted & three other women reported a suspicious man in Bristol.

Officers are keeping an open mind about a potential link after five incidents were reported.

Three happened between 7.30pm and 9.30pm on Wednesday 20 March:

  • A woman in her twenties was in Ferry Street when a man approached her and produced a knife. He didn’t speak before running away.
  • A second woman, also in her twenties, was approached in Picton Street by a man with a knife in his hand who ran off after being disturbed by a passer-by.
  • A man approached the third woman, who is in her thirties, in Sydenham Road and she saw a knife in a sheath. He ran off after the woman called for help to a passing cyclist.

On Friday 22 March just before 9.30pm a man approached a woman in Redcliff Street. He claimed to have a knife, but none was seen, before indecently assaulting her over her clothing and attempting to take her phone.

At about 4.30pm on Monday 25 March a man indecently assaulted a girl aged 14 near Somerset Square.

There are some similarities in the descriptions given by the women. Each says their assailant wore a balaclava or face covering. Two say he was dressed all in black while one described him as wearing a grey tracksuit.

The ages given vary between mid-teens and mid-twenties, height between 5ft 4ins and 5ft 8ins, and other descriptions vary between “mixed heritage”, “Asian” and “Black”.

Each incident last week was attended by officers, with no trace of a suspect. Monday’s incident was reported today, Tuesday 26 March, with officers due to speak with the child later. CCTV and other enquiries continue.

We’re keen to hear from anyone who may have dashcam footage from the relevant dates and locations or who has any other information.

If you can help, please call 101 and give the call handler the reference number 5224072591, or complete our online appeals form.

You can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100 per cent anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via their Anonymous Online Form.

No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will not go to court or have to speak to police when contacting Crimestoppers.