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Police and nightlife venues issue safety advice after woman is raped in Lowestoft

PUBLISHED: 17:05 14 December 2017 | UPDATED: 13:14 22 December 2017

Kimberley Road, Kirkley. Picture: Mick Howes

Kimberley Road, Kirkley. Picture: Mick Howes

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Almost a week after a woman was raped in a car in Lowestoft having accepted a lift in the early hours of the morning, reporter Thomas Chapman speaks to police and bar managers to get their advice on staying safe during nights out.

Kimberley Road, Lowestoft, where a woman was raped in a car in the early hours of December 9. Picture: Mick HowesKimberley Road, Lowestoft, where a woman was raped in a car in the early hours of December 9. Picture: Mick Howes

On Saturday, December 9, a woman in her 30s was the victim of a horrific attack in a car after a night out.

At about 4am, she accepted a lift from a stranger - driving what she describes as a small light or silver coloured car - because she believed he was a Good Samaritan.

At some time between 4.15am and 5.15am, the suspect stopped the car in Kimberley Road and raped the victim in the vehicle.

Since the attack, the woman has described the suspect as Asian, aged between 30 and 40, short and of slight build.

Yesterday, Suffolk Police released an E-fit image of a man they would like to speak to in connection with the incident and warned the public to stay alert during nights out due to fears that he might strike again.

With the height of the festive season approaching, bar managers are also emphasising the need for revellers to plan their evenings.

Chris Hone, manager of Broadview Winebar in Oulton Broad, said: “When you are going out over the Christmas period, make sure you know how you are going to get back home and who will be with you. Finding yourself alone miles from home in the early hours is a situation you want to avoid.

“If you are at a venue and don’t have any taxi numbers handy, ask a member of staff to recommend a licensed firm. Do not accept lifts from strangers.”

Emma Linell, manager of Lady of The Lake live music venue in Oulton Broad, added: “Those who go on nights out should allocate extra money for a taxi home and definitely do not get into a stranger’s car.

“If you do walk home, make sure you are not alone. Walk in large groups and stick to main roads while you can.”

Detective Superintendent Eamonn Bridger, who is leading the investigation, added: “In the early hours of this Saturday, December 16, we’re going to have extra reassurance patrols in Lowestoft; we can’t rule out the potential for this man to try and offer further lifts to people late at night.

“I would strongly urge people not to accept lifts from strangers and those on nights out should stick together and look after each other.”

Anyone with information about the attack or who believes they recognise the person pictured in the E-fit, is asked to contact Suffolk Police on 101, quoting reference 78398/17. 
Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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