Sex attack warning - women urged to be alert after second assault in two weeks

LOCAL women are being urged to be “alert but not alarmed” after a second sexual assault in Tamworth in as many weeks.

In the latest incident, two men targeted a 32-year-old woman while she was walking alone about 12.30am on Sunday.

The attack on the Peel River embankment, near the skate park, left the woman traumatised, but police don’t believe it’s linked to a sexual assault two weeks ago.

Oxley crime manager Acting Inspector Josh McKenzie said police were doing everything they could in the investigation.

“Any sexual assault is concerning ... I would like to think that women in a country town are quite safe to walk home, so we would be very concerned about any attack,” he said.

“But yes, having two in two weeks is a concern ... they are all serious incidents which are taken very seriously.”

The 32-year-old local woman left a hotel in Peel St and was walking through the skate park near Darling St when she was approached by a man.

“(He) is alleged to have dragged her over an embankment, the male then sexually assaulted her and there are reports that a second male joined the assault before both men fled from the scene,” Acting Inspector McKenzie said.

“One line of inquiry we have followed up and are continuing to follow up today in terms of any CCTV that might be available in the area.”

The attack has provoked community outrage as details emerge of the fresh assault.

Many locals have expressed their anger and frustration on social media that an innocent local can’t walk home safely.

On February 9, a 21-year-old was sexually assaulted in a lane way as she was walking home alone along White St.

The man forced her into the dark laneway and attacked her before he fled the scene.

But police don’t want to alarm the community.

“Generally speaking people need to be conscious of their safety anyway, so it would be a general warning possibly using cabs where you can, especially if you are intoxicated, and not walking alone,” Acting Inspector McKenzie said.

Detectives spent yesterday scouring any security surveillance that might help to identify the attackers.

A crime scene was set up and police seized “some items of interest” from the area as they follow a number of leads.

Acting Inspector McKenzie said police were unable to provide a description of the offenders at this stage but they need the public’s help to try and identify those responsible, as the victim recovers.

Anyone with information or who was in the area at the time of the assault is urged to contact Tamworth detectives on 6768 2999 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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