Police reassure Polegate residents after teenager was grabbed

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Police have moved to reassure the public after reports a teenage girl was grabbed in Polegate.

Sussex Police said it is continuing with its investigation into the report of a man grabbing a girls arm in Polegate on Monday evening and have already had some positive leads which are being looked into.

Inspector Tony Wakefield said: “I am aware this story has escalated through social media and is causing concern to some members of the local community, but I would like to reassure you that this is a rare occurrence for Polegate which remains a very safe place to live, work and visit.

“Until this matter has been resolved I will be increasing patrols in the area. We are still trying to identify the male who witnessed this and ask that he comes forward to assist us in bringing this matter to a swift conclusion.”

The police launched an appeal earlier this week after a teenage girl was grabbed by a man in Polegate, on Monday, October 6.

Officers are trying to trace a member of the public who saw the incident.

A 16-year-old girl had got off the train in Polegate around 8.40pm having travelled from Eastbourne and was followed by a man who she had seen on the train.

She began to walk along the High Street and as she got to the junction of Victoria Road, she had been grabbed at by the man on the train. He missed her wrist to start with but then managed to grab both of her arms and walk her towards Cross Street.

She screamed out and she heard a man shout, “What are you doing?” and this made the man let go of her arms and run left onto Victoria Road.

DS Suzy Joseph said: “The victim then ran onto the High Street where she contacted her dad to come and pick her up. She was very shaken by what has happened but was thankfully unhurt.

“She describes the man as in his 50s or 60s, with a scar on left cheek and was wearing a thick winter cagoule style coat and a woolly hat with a small peak.

“We are hoping to trace the member of the public who called out as he is a key witness to what happened. Also anyone else who might have been in Polegate High Street or was in the area of the train station around 8.40pm when the train arrived who might be able to help is asked to get in touch.”

If you have any information about this incident, contact police on 101 with the reference 1551 of 6/10.