Naked creep in mask targets girl walking dog in Southern Country Park
A masked, naked pervert who targets women and girls in Bishop's Stortford and Sawbridgeworth has struck for the fifth time in seven months.
An 18-year-old girl walking a dog along a woodland path in Southern Country Park, near Moor Hall Lane, at around 5.15pm on Friday (May 10) was the latest victim.
She heard a man call out to her. She turned round to find a man standing about 30ft away, his hands on his hips. He was naked except for a full-face white mask.
She described him as white and of average height and build.
This is the fifth such crime reported to police in the last seven months: three in Stortford have happened in the Southern Country Park area while two in Sawbridgeworth happened near Rivers Hospital.
In the first incident, on October 24 last year, two 13-year-old girls were terrified when a naked man wearing a white leather mask emerged from bushes in the country park and masturbated in front of them.
On April 17, a masked naked man spooked three women who were walking a dog near St James the Great Church in Thorley.
Police are linking these to two similar incidents on the parish border of Sawbridgeworth and High Wych.
On January 2, at around 8pm, a woman was sitting in a vehicle in High Wych Lane when a man appeared on a grass area in front of her. He was naked and had his face covered with what was described as some kind of light-coloured head bandage. He touched himself then ran off into a wooded area.
Just over a month later, on February 6 at around 8.40pm, a woman was targeted in the same location. She was getting into her vehicle when a naked man appeared, touched his genitals and ran away.
A spokeswoman for Hertfordshire Constabulary said: "We understand these incidents are very distressing for the victims involved and will cause concern to members of the public. Detectives from the local crime unit are investigating and are liaising with specialist departments and local officers to identify the offender as soon as possible."
Anyone with information that could help the investigation is urged to call the East Herts Local Crime Unit on 101 or report online at www.herts.police.uk/report.