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Village in shock after man chases woman who refused to get into van

PUBLISHED: 11:57 17 August 2018 | UPDATED: 13:13 17 August 2018

The village of Ilketshall St Andrew is in shock after three men tried to coax a woman into their van - before one of them chased her down the road. Picture: Thomas Chapman

The village of Ilketshall St Andrew is in shock after three men tried to coax a woman into their van - before one of them chased her down the road. Picture: Thomas Chapman

Archant

Shock waves are reverberating through a quiet community after three men tried to coax a woman into their van - before one chased after her down the road.

The accosting happened on the junction where Becks Green Lane meets Hogg Lane. Picture: Thomas ChapmanThe accosting happened on the junction where Becks Green Lane meets Hogg Lane. Picture: Thomas Chapman

The incident happened about 8.20pm on Sunday, August 12, when a female cyclist was making her way down Becks Green Lane in Ilketshall St Andrew, near Beccles.

Having stopped at the junction with Hogg Lane, she was then approached by three men in a red van who asked if she wanted to get into the vehicle.

When the cyclist declined, one of the men got out of the van and ran after her for a short distance.

Anneli Whyte, who lives on Becks Green Lane and has been in the village for 25 years, emphasised her concern for her daughters’ safety.

The village of Ilketshall St Andrew is in shock after three men tried to coax a woman into their van - before one of them chased her down the road. Picture: Thomas ChapmanThe village of Ilketshall St Andrew is in shock after three men tried to coax a woman into their van - before one of them chased her down the road. Picture: Thomas Chapman

“It’s all very worrying, especially given I have four daughters,” said Mrs Whyte, 56. “This isn’t something you ever expect to happen and I’ve never known anything like it to happen round here, nor any of the surrounding villages.

“On the whole we’ve always felt very safe here. Occasionally things are stolen from the farms, but there’s absolutely no serious crime.”

Police conducted a search of the area following Sunday’s incident, but found no trace of the vehicle or the offenders - who made no physical contact with the victim.

Officers are now looking to trace three white men with short hair, no facial hair and local accents.

The woman had been cycling down Becks Green Lane. Picture: Thomas ChapmanThe woman had been cycling down Becks Green Lane. Picture: Thomas Chapman

Another Becks Green resident, who grew up in Ilketshall, admitted there is an innate expectation that the area is safe.

“It’s scary that something like this can happen on your doorstep,” the resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said.

“We’ve got young children and we just assume that they’re safe - it’s just surprising and shocking.

“Recently there does seem to be more crime of this nature happening in the area.

“Perhaps we hear more about them now on social media, and obviously it’s a little more worrying because of there are not so many police around these days.”

Police investigating the alleged accosting are urging witnesses to come forward.

Anyone who has any relevant information or saw any suspicious activity in the area at the times stated should contact Suffolk Police on 101, quoting reference number 355 of Sunday, August 12.

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