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.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.