Sense of shock in 'quiet' community following Easter Sunday rape
- Credit: Archant
People in a quiet corner of Downham Market are in a state of shock after a teenager was raped on Easter Sunday.
The woman, aged in her late teens, was attacked at some point between 3am and 8am on April 4 in the area of Rouse's Lane.
Investigating officers say they are looking for an unknown suspect, believed to be aged in his 20s or 30s.
It comes just two months after a similarly serious assault in Great Ryburgh, near Fakenham, although police do not think the incidents are linked.
As news of the rape in Downham was made public, residents who live in the area - on the south-east side of town - were left reeling.
"There's never been any issues round here," said one homeowner, who lives on Rouse's Lane. "That's why we've stayed here."
One man on the same road expressed shock upon hearing of the attack, saying there had barely been any activity late at night given the current closure of pubs and restaurants.
And another man, who lives on nearby Howdale Rise, added that the whole town was "generally quiet".
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Meanwhile, Chris Clark, who has been based in Downham for more than 20 years and in west Norfolk all his life, argued it was "definitely" a safe place to live.
"You occasionally hear of burglaries and thefts, and little scraps when the pubs are open, but nothing like this," said the 58-year-old, who lives on Bexwell Road.
"You've got to keep your wits about you at night time, but no more than anywhere else."
Earlier on Thursday, police moved to reassure people in the area regarding their safety.
Detective Inspector Richard Weller said: "We understand people will be very concerned at the seriousness of this report.
"We will be carrying out extra patrols in the area to offer support and advice to our local communities."
Investigators are appealing for witnesses and are keen to speak to anyone who was in the area of Rouse's Lane and Stonecross Road between 3 and 8am on Easter Sunday.
Officers would also like to hear from those who may have dashcam or CCTV footage from the area at the time.
Anyone with information should contact Swaffham CID by calling 101, quoting ‘Operation Loddington’.