Police in Edinburgh have appealed for public assistance into a new city-wide investigation, after a 23-year-old woman was assaulted in a common stairwell last week.
The attack, which occurred at approximately 3:00am on the morning of Sunday 1 October, took place on a common stairwell at Rankeillor Street, located just off the main road along Clerk Street within the Newington area of the city.
The woman was reported to have entered the stairwell before being grabbed from behind by the male responsible, who then proceeded to attack her.
However, the victim was able to fend the attacker off, and the male suspect was consequently forced to quickly flee the scene.
Detective Inspector Donnie MacLeod of the Edinburgh Public Protection Unit, and leader of the investigation, made a public statement:
“This attack has left the young woman extremely distressed and we are pursuing a number of lines of inquiry to identify the male responsible.
“If you remember seeing any suspicious activity on Rankeillor Street during the early hours of Sunday morning then please contact police immediately.
“We are also keen to speak to you if you recognise the description of the suspect or have any other information that can assist with this investigation.”
The male in question has been described as a caucasian in his early thirties, around five feet and five inches tall with a medium build, with very short blonde hair and deep set eyes.
The suspect is also reported to have been wearing a light-coloured hoodie at the time of the incident.
Although Edinburgh Police have sought to reassure any fears over public safety, they have urged members of the public to remain vigilant against any potential danger resulting in similar attacks.
The warning is especially prevalent towards young women travelling alone late at night, as the darker hours of the day continue to grow longer over the coming months.
Statistics provided by The City of Edinburgh Council also show that whilst numbers are falling to record low figures, there was still an accounted 272 incidents of serious assault against women recorded in the city during 2016.
If anybody has useful information or was around Rankeillor Street at the time of the incident, authorities ask that contact to the Edinburgh Public Protection Unit be made, by dialling the 101 emergency hotline and quoting the incident number 2933 for the 1 October.
Those who wish to report an anonymous statement can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Image: ingrid via flickr