Inspector urges people to call 999 straight away in the event of an indecent exposure
Bishop's Stortford's police inspector has urged people to dial 999 immediately if confronted by anyone indecently exposing themselves.
Insp Mark Collins said that it was a "crime in progress" and therefore necessitated an immediate police response. It would also increase officers' chances of catching the culprit.
"Try to take your phone out with you and, if it happens, call us straight away," he said.
"If someone exposes themselves, it is a serious offence, and I want people to phone us – call 999 – because it is a crime in action."
The inspector, who heads up Hertfordshire Constabulary's East Herts Safer Neighbourhood Team, made the comments following an incident in Sawbridgeworth last week in which a man exposed himself to a woman out walking in Pishiobury Park, shouting at her and pushing her.
"People sometimes feel unsure in the moment or a bit embarrassed, and because of the nature of the offence people walk away, but phone us or use the What3words app to help us get to you quicker," he added.
"We have incidences where people phone us the next day, but we would much rather receive calls straight away."
Insp Collins said that it was difficult to say awhether this latest incident was related to others in the area – the last happening along the River Stort towpath in Sawbridgeworth on June 5 when a man wearing a balaclava exposed himself to two women.
"There's not enough information yet for me to be able to rule out that it isn't linked. It's early days in the investigation."