Police are urging people to be cautious after a man exposed himself to four young teenage girls near to a nature reserve in Witham.
The incident happened around 3.45pm yesterday, Wednesday March 31. It is one of a number of incidents of indecent exposure since February 15, which are now being treating as linked.
The girls were walking down Blackwater Lane towards Whetmead Nature Reserve when they became aware of the man who was facing away from them. He turned and looked at them over his shoulder before crossing over Blackwater Lane in front of the girls and exposed himself.
He ran off towards Maldon Road in the direction of Saul’s Bridge Close and was last seen at the junction of these two roads.
The man is described as white, roughly between 5ft 7ins and 5ft 8ins tall, of slim build, with dark wavy or slightly curly hair which was greasy.
He was wearing a black long-sleeved top which may have had a hood and possibly had a white logo on the front chest area. He was also wearing dark coloured jogging bottoms and trainers.
Police are appealing for information from anyone who was in the area at the time who may have seen a man matching the description prior to, and after the incident.
DC Deb Forsythe, of Braintree CID, said: “We believe that the man exposing himself must live close to the area as he clearly has local knowledge given the routes he uses and disappears a short time after the events.
“We believe the key to finding and arresting this individual lies with the public and would ask anyone who has any knowledge as to who this person is, to contact Police as a matter of urgency.
“We understand these incidents will be concerning for our community and we are treating them very seriously. We have high visibility patrols taking place in the area but we would urge members of the public to vigilant and we would ask parents not to allow their children to go to the area alone.”
Anyone with information which they believe will help should call 101 quoting incident 904 of 31 March.
An e-fit image has also been released of a man police want to speak to in connection with two incidents linked to yesterday.
At about 4pm on March 10, three girls reported walking in a green area just off Laurence Avenue, between Maldon Road and Pattison Close, when a man exposed himself.
The man in that incident is described as white, slim, approximately 20-years-old with medium-length dark brown hair. He was wearing a blue jacket, grey trousers, and brown shoes.
Two days later, a woman in her 30s was walking her dog in the Maldon Road area at around 10am when she reported a man exposing himself.
Anyone with information which they believe will help that investigation should call 101 quoting crime reference number 42/44328/21 or cite incident 1046 of 22 March.