March 23, 2021 5.07 pm This story is over 31 months old

Police appeal for Lincoln hedgerow loiterer

Officers investigating appear skeptical

Police are appealing for information after a man was reported to have been loitering in bushes and taking pictures of women in Lincoln.

Two young ladies reported to police that, while running along the Fossdyke Canal in Lincoln on Monday morning, a white male was loitering in the hedgerow by Roman Wharf (off Carholme Road).

Lincoln Police posted on Facebook asking if the current media agenda surrounding the Sarah Everard story has made us “suspicious of everyone” when appealing about the incident.

Referring to themselves as ‘the cycling PCSO’, a spokesperson for Lincoln Police said: “Has the current media made us suspicious of everyone? Should we be cautious around anyone we don’t know and could our actions be misinterpreted?

“When you are going about, please bear in mind how your actions could come across to others.”

Anyone who saw a white male in his 50s, wearing dark clothing and a baseball cap, while smoking and acting in a suspicious manner, please call 101 and quote incident 78 of March 22.

Protests and tributes have taken place in Lincoln ever since the news of Sarah Everard’s death was reported, with a memorial for her going up on University Library Bridge.

A second tribute, at the old police station, as well as chalk markings were placed in light of the 33-year-old dying.

By 5.30pm, Lincolnshire Police retracted the original statement and said: “We would like to firstly apologise for the last post which was worded incorrectly and understandably caused upset to a number of our followers.

“Especially due to the nature of the subject and in this current climate around sexual harassment and abuse of women.

“The intention of this post was never to undermine any genuine concerns reported to us by the public. We acknowledge that is our role and responsibility to investigate any suspicious behaviour and it is our responsibility to prove the absence of any wrongdoing.

“Please be assured our officers will take any reports seriously.

“We have opened two crime reports which will be investigated in regards to abuse against women who were part of the “97%” campaign which took place in Lincoln this weekend.

“We will not accept or tolerate any harassment or abuse against anyone and it is more important than it has ever been to show we will join women in taking a stand against this type of behaviour.”