NewsCrime World

Police arrest man after third sex attack in five days

Crime WorldBy Sunday World
Police combing the area of the attack in Cardiff
Police combing the area of the attack in Cardiff

A man has been arrested following a sexual assault in Cardiff - the third incident of its kind in just five days.


Police were called to the Gorsedd Gardens in the Welsh capital's civic centre at around 4.30am today after a 19-year-old woman was attacked.

The incident comes during Freshers' Week and the crime scene is just a few yards from where a similar attack took place at the weekend.

Officers are also investigating another sex assault less than half a mile away which took place in the student area of Cathays on Tuesday.

South Wales Police Detective Chief Inspector Richie Jones said while there were similarities in the locations, times and nature of the assault it was too early to say whether the same person was responsible.

He said: "South Wales Police is continuing to investigate three sexual assaults in Cardiff which have happened in the last five days.

"We are treating these incidents extremely seriously and a full and through investigation is on-going, involving a large number of officers from a range of specialist departments.

"I can confirm that one man was arrested earlier today on suspicion of sexual assault and is currently in custody at Cardiff Bay Police Station.

"Despite this arrest, the investigation is very much on-going."

Since the alarm was raised this morning, Gorsedd Gardens has been cordoned off for most of the day with police sniffer dogs and forensic officers spotted at the scene.

Earlier this week, police launched an appeal for information after a 20-year-old woman was sexually assaulted near Cardiff University's main building at 3am on Sunday.

And on Tuesday, officers again asked the public for help after another 20-year-old woman was attacked in Cathays Terrace during the early hours of the morning.

Detective Chief Inspector Jones said the welfare of the three victims was an absolute priority for the force and all were being supported by specially trained officers.

Speaking at a press conference in Cardiff Bay Police Station, Chief Superintendent Belinda Davies stressed her force took a zero-tolerance approach to sex crimes.

"Let me be clear - we will do everything we can to bring those responsible to justice," she said.

"All reports of sexual assault are taken extremely seriously and South Wales Police, together with the Police and Crime Commissioner, have been working with partners to make tackling this type of crime a priority.

"Crimes like this are never the victim's fault, but I would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone to follow basic safety advice so they keep themselves and their friends safe.

"Stay together when you're out at night, drink responsibly and make sure you all go home together.

"Always plan your journey home, book a reputable taxi firm, and if walking please keep to well-lit areas."

Anyone with any information on any of the three incidents is asked to contact South Wales Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Police said a second man has since been arrested - in connection with the first incident on September 20.

A spokesman said on Thursday: "The man, aged 40, from the Riverside area of the city, has been taken to Cardiff Bay Police Station.

"A 22-year-old man from Cardiff who was arrested earlier today remains in custody."