'Women and girls' urged to avoid South Yorkshire walking route after masked man drags victim to the ground

Denaby Crags.
Denaby Crags.
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Women and girls are being urged to avoid walking alone through the notorious Denaby Crags area in Doncaster after a woman was dragged to the ground and beaten in a terrifying attack.

The rocky outcrops in Denaby Main have become a virtual no go zone after reports of several attacks on women in the last few years.

In the latest incident a 29-year-old woman was assaulted by a man while she was walking through the area on Friday, January 13, at 2.15pm.

Police said the man was covering his face, dragged the victim to the ground and assaulted her before running off towards Peake Avenue. The woman suffered minor head injuries.

Officers are asking residents to be vigilant when in the area as the suspect may be a danger to the public.

Police dogs and horses will also be patrolling in and around the area in the coming days to provide extra reassurance.

Superintendent Colin McFarlane said: “We appreciate that this incident has worried local residents and we hope the increased police presence is going to provide some comfort.

“We would continue to advise anyone considering walking or running in the local area to do so with a friend, and to report anything suspicious to police officers as soon as you can.

“At this time, no arrests have been made but we have had officers working tirelessly on this case over the weekend and we will continue to explore any available lines of enquiry."

There were eight sex assaults reported at Denaby Crags between February 2014 and August 2015. Police are investigating if the crimes may be linked to this latest incident.

Detective chief inspector Jade Brice said: "I know many of you will recall we had a series of crimes in this area in 2015. This investigation is in its initial stages so it is too early to say whether this is linked to those older incidents, though we are exploring all lines of enquiry."

If you have information that could help officers, please call 101 or email enquiries@southyorks.pnn.police.uk quoting incident number 493 of 13 January 2017.