“I’d rather have too much information to sift through than not,” said the police officer leading an investigation into a sexual assault of a teenager walking through Wokingham town centre.
Detective Constable Paul Bentley wants members of the public to come forward with anything that could help his team at Thames Valley Police catch the two men alleged to have grabbed the 17-year-old as she crossed a road around 4pm on Wednesday, June 5.
The teenager was at the junction of Easthampstead Road with Denton Road when she was attacked. The men dragged her into Denton Road and assaulted her.
However, the attackers fled in the direction of Sturges Road when a woman driving past shouted at the them to let the young woman go.
Police want to trace this driver and are also hoping that other drivers could have dash cam footage that could help.
DC Bentley said: “I want to appeal to anyone who knows the offenders or recognises their descriptions.
“The victim tried to fight off the offenders during the sexual assault, so it is possible that the offenders may have sustained scratches to their hands.
“The first offender may have followed the victim from Reading Road through the town centre. He is a black man, in his forties, about 5ft 8ins tall, of medium build, with short black hair. He was wearing a black tracksuit top, black tracksuit bottoms and black footwear.
“The second offender is a black man, in his forties, about 5ft 9ins tall, of muscular build, with a black and grey beard. He was wearing a black tracksuit top, black tracksuit bottoms, black footwear, and a black hat.
“I also need to speak to the Good Samaritan who drove a red vehicle past the scene and shouted at the offenders, causing them to flee the scene.
“Finally, during the sexual assault, the victim shouted for help and tried to fight off the offenders. If anyone saw or heard anything near Denton Road at about 4pm on Wednesday, June 5, please contact the police as soon as possible.”
DC Bentley added that they had been contacting local shops to see if they have appropriate CCTV.
“We encourage everyone to come forward,” he said. “These jigsaw puzzle pieces can help us.
“The assault happened in such a busy area, someone may have seen something. The more people who come forward the better.”
There is a train of thought in the enquiry that the victim could have been followed and that one of the two men were seen in the vicinity of Reading Road earlier in the day.
“These are avenues [of enquiries] worth exploring,” he said. “We are making enquiries with local shops and dash cam footage could be vital.”
The victim has received appropriate support from officers and DC Bentley felt that the force will do what it can to reassure Wokingham’s residents.
“We don’t see many [crimes] of this nature here,” he explained. “Wokingham is still a safe place to live. We do take this incident seriously and we are working with neighbourhood policing teams to reassure and engage with the community.
“Thames Valley Police will be carrying out reassurance patrols, so if you have any questions or concerns please speak to an officer.”
Anyone with any information on the incident can contact the police online by visiting www.thamesvalley.police.uk/tua/tell-us-about/cor/tell-us-about-existing-case-report/, or by calling 101, quoting investigation reference number 43190169565.