The victim, an 11-year-old girl, was making her way home from school along Kings Road in Harrogate at around 3.15pm. As she approached the junction with Chatsworth Grove, a man approached her from behind and placed one hand on her hip and one hand on her waist and made a sexually inappropriate comment to her. The girl ran away from the man and arrived home upset and shaken by the incident.
The man is described at white, in his forties, around 5’8’’ in height with dark greying hair which was short on one side but longer on the other and has a distinctive mole above his right eyebrow. He was wearing a red jumper, khaki coloured trousers and black Nike trainers with white laces. The victim described him as talking with a rough Yorkshire accent
Officers are keen to speak to anyone who was in the area of Kings Road and Chatsworth Grove at 3.15pm who may have witnessed the incident, or anyone who recognises the description of the man, who can assist with his identity. Anyone with information is asked to contact 101, select option 2 and speak to the Force Control Room quoting reference 12210125274.
Speaking about the incident Sergeant Alex Sellars from the Harrogate Neighbourhood Policing Team said;
This is a disturbing incident which has understandably left the victim very shaken and upset. She has been incredibly brave when speaking to police and has been able to give us a detailed description of the man who approached her. Officers will be conducting further enquiries in the area, but we would appreciate the public’s assistance in helping us to identifying this man.
With the incident taking place at the end of the school day, the area would have been busy with parents and children making their way home. If you were passing on the school run, please can you take a moment to recall your journey, or check your car dash-cams – did you see a man in the area who fits the description? If so, please do get in touch with us.
While it doesn’t take away any of the shock which will be understandably felt by residents and parents in the area, incidents of this nature are rare in North Yorkshire. Everyone, regardless of gender or age, should be able to walk home without fear, but sadly we know this isn’t always the case. There are some very simple steps that we can all take to help us feel safer when we’re walking home, such as walking in a group or with a friend, letting someone know what route you’ll be taking, when you are leaving somewhere and when you expect to be home and walk along main routes and well-lit areas.
Please be assured that we take reports of this nature very seriously and our officers are committed to ensuring public safety.