POLICE have confirmed a fourth riverside sexual assault in Hereford, but say they have arrested two people on suspicion of rape and flashing.

Extra police patrols will continue along the river path in Hereford as detectives continue to investigate four sexual offences reported in the last few weeks, a spokesperson said.

Detectives are currently investigating two rapes, one indecent exposure and one sexual assault. All have been reported to police since July 31.

Police activity on August 8 after a second riverside rape was reported in HerefordA police cordon at Victoria Bridge, Hereford, after a rape near the spot last weekend (August 7)

Arrests have been made in connection with the rape on July 31 and the indecent exposure on August 3, an incident not previously reported publicly by the police.

Officers are also carrying out enquiries to locate a named suspect in connection with the rape on August 7.

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Enquiries into the sexual assault which took place on the river path between Hinton Road and King George V playing fields on Friday night (August 12) are ongoing, they said.

Officers are continuing to appeal for help from the public in identifying a key witness in relation to the sexual assault which took place on Friday night.

Further to an earlier appeal asking a man walking a dog in the area to get in contact, we believe there was another man in the area who was also walking a dog.

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His dog was small, dark-coloured or black, and possibly a small breed such as a Poodle or Terrier.

He was walking on the river path from Hinton Road up towards Victoria Bridge and is believed to have seen the victim and the offender in the moments shortly before the attack.

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Hereford Chief Inspector Ross Jones said: "We have a dedicated team of detectives overseeing the investigation into the offences that have been reported to us.

"I'd like to thank the victims of these incidents for their courage in coming forward to report them. All four victims continue to be supported by specially trained officers.

"Increased patrols by both uniformed and plainclothes officers will continue along the river path, particularly during the late evening and overnight.

Police activity on August 8 after a second riverside rape was reported in HerefordA police cordon after the first rape was reported at the end of July. Picture: Michael Eden

"As some of these patrols are being carried out by plainclothes officers you may not see them, but please be rest assured we have officers in the area.

"We recognise the concern around safety in this area and would like to offer reassurance we have been working closely with our partners to implement measures to improve safety in these areas. This work will continue.”

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Chief Inspector Jones said police have been successful in securing more than £500,000 of funding as part of a Safer Streets bid in partnership with Herefordshire Council and the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner.

The Safer Street project objective is to make public places safer for all.

"The funding secured in Hereford will specifically focus on tackling offences which involve violence against women and girls, with a focus on routes taken home by women when out at night," he said.

"The funding will allow the implementation of improved lighting and CCTV, with areas covered including those around both Victoria and Hunderton Bridges, as well as Aylestone, Whitecross Road, Bishops Meadow and Canary Bridge, with plans to improve lighting and CCTV coverage.

"The funding will also allow further education to be delivered to schools, as well as a targeted campaign encouraging bystanders as well as women and girls to report concerns. It will also highlight support services available."

Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion said: "I am aware of the community concerns in relation to these incidents, and I am reassured that the police are doing all they can in response and will continue to take action to ensure our communities are safe."

The government's new Street Safe tool gives you the power to report areas where you feel unsafe. For further information or to report an area of concern please visit police.uk/streetsafe.