Town cautious after latest rape

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Latest news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

There have been calls for community-led patrols and for women to be accompanied at night following the latest rape in Hadleigh.

On Facebook, residents have set about organising unofficial street patrols, with concerned members of the public suggesting women should be accompanied if walking in the town at night.

Richard Westwell, chairman of Hadleigh Streetwatch, advised concerned residents to join the official Streetwatch group if they wanted to help out.

“Anything that’s unofficial is not really going to have the same impact,” he said.

He said police officers in Sudbury had received requests to join the group since the attacks, but said they had not received formal requests from police bosses to carry out additional patrols.

He encouraged more volunteers to join, adding the more members the group had, the more patrols they could run.

Hadleigh residents told the Free Press the community was feeling the effects of the attacks.

Joanne Grimsby, from George Street, Hadleigh, admitted the attacks had made her feel nervous about going out at night alone.

“We’ve never had that sort of thing happen here before,” she said. “I’d rather go out with a friend now.”

Mrs Grimsby said that, although incidents of this nature were rare, she felt more needed to be done to prevent similar attacks in the future.

She suggested that street lighting should be left on for longer and said increased police patrols would be a positive step.

Jenny Cutts, from Fenton Street in Hadleigh, agreed that people in the town had been left feeling apprehensive.

“We’ve always felt safe here, or thought we were,” she said. “I think people are definitely being more cautious now.”

Following calls for street lights to be switched back on after midnight, police officers have confirmed that last weekend’s attack in Tayler Road took place when the lights were on.