Neighbourhood safety fears raised after attempted rape
- Credit: Daniel Hickey
Lifelong residents of a seafront neighbourhood have spoken of feeling unsafe after reports of an attempted rape.
Police were called at 2.29am on Sunday, June 27, to reports of an assault at St Nicholas Recreation Ground, off Queen’s Road in Great Yarmouth.
Following inquiries at the scene, officers arrested a 21-year-old man on nearby Marine Parade.
He was also arrested on suspicion of driving without a licence.
A long-term resident of Seafield Close, which backs onto the recreation ground, said he regularly takes his dog for a walk on 'the field' - as the ground is locally known - and sees people "dealing drugs".
He said: "It used to be a very up-market residential area, with guesthouses, but it has gradually got a bad reputation over the years."
The man, 67, said he wouldn't walk outside past 10pm.
"It would make you feel a bit worried, should you move or not, which I'm considering," he said.
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Police data shows that in May this year there were 22 crimes in the area.
This included three reported incidents at the recreation ground itself including two vehicle crime and one of anti-social behaviour.
On Seafield Close police responded to three crimes classified as theft, violent and sexual offences and anti-social behaviour.
DI Tom Smith, from Great Yarmouth CID said: “We understand these incidents can cause concern and anxiety among local people.
"A man arrested in connection with the incident has since been released on bail and detectives are continuing to investigate it.
"We take these reports seriously and continue to establish the facts of the incident, gathering all available evidence.”
A 68-year-old woman who lives on Seafield Close said: "I am surprised but I'm not surprised."
She grew up on the road. "It was marvellous. We were ribbed at school for being posh. 'You live in the posh houses,' they'd say. It's not like that now."
Around the corner, on Queen's Road, Sheila Boulstridge, 66, said she had also lived in the area all her life and had never heard about anything like the incident happening there before.
"I take my grandson to the recreation ground and you hear lots of swearing. It's not a safe place to be at night-time," she said.
The man arrested after the incident was taken to Great Yarmouth Police Investigation Centre for questioning and was later released on police bail while inquiries continue.