Avon & Somerset Constabulary are asking users of the Bristol-Bath raiway path to keep a lookout for each other and for females to be on their guard following three recent incidents reported to them involving sexual assault or harrassment. They have also issued a witness appeal for information regarding a male cyclist, aged in his 20s, whom they believe may be the perpetrator.
In a statement published this afternoon, the force said:
We're asking people who use the Bristol to Bath cycle path in South Gloucestershire to look out for each other after three women reported incidents to us.
The first incident was on Tuesday May 28, at about 5.30pm, when a man cycled alongside a woman jogging between Bitton and Warmley despite being shouted at to leave her alone.
On Thursday June 13 another woman was jogging along the path between Warmley and Wick between 5.30 and 5.45pm. A man repeatedly cycled past her and slapped her on the bottom.
On Thursday June 20 between 5.10 and 5.20pm there was another similar incident.
All three women describe a white man, aged in his 20s, wearing a T shirt and cycling gear.
Neighbourhood Sergeant Andy Hucker said: "Obviously we don't know if the same man was responsible for each incident, but we're calling on anyone who uses the cycle path to keep an eye out for anyone behaving suspiciously. If you do see something suspicious, call us straight away with a description of what happened and what they looked like.
"If anything like this happens to you while you're out running or walking, get to somewhere busy and call us straight away. Try to give us as much information about the person as you can – what they look like, what they were wearing and which way they went."
PS Hucker said joggers should always let someone know where they plan to run and when they'll be back. He also advised not playing MP3 players too loudly so that you can hear people approaching.
The neighbourhood team regularly patrols the cycle path on foot and by bicycle.
Anyone who saw any of these incidents or who has any information which could help our investigation is asked to contact South Gloucestershire CID by calling 101. Alternatively contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. They never ask your name or trace your call.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.