Wednesday, 4 January 2017 - 7:50am
Statement attributable to Detective Sergeant Stephen Smith.
Police are seeking assistance from the public in regards to what is believed to be a sexually motivated attack at a Gisborne campground.
At approximately 12.20am on 1 January, Police were called to the A&P Showgrounds Campground on Main Road, Gisborne, after a 24-year-old woman was attacked in her tent by an unknown man.
Our inquiries so far have established that two or more people drove into the campground in what has been described as a light coloured SUV or people mover around midnight.
A number of campers have reported that property was stolen from some tents and it is thought the thefts are connected to the assault.
One of the men entered the tent of a sleeping 24-year-old woman. He attacked the woman and she has fought back and screamed. Other campers have heard the disturbance and come to the woman’s assistance.
The man was chased off by campers and got into the light coloured vehicle through a passenger door. The vehicle has then left the campground via Main Road and driven towards the city which is a short distance from the campground.
Police inquiries into this assault and the thefts are ongoing. The victim and witnesses have been interviewed and a scene examination has been completed. Police are now seeking further information from the public to identify the vehicle and these men, particularly the person who committed this assault.
The alleged offender is described as having a slim or athletic build and is in his late teens-early twenties. The victim reported biting his hand and arm, it is possible he has visible bite marks.
The vehicle is described as a light coloured SUV or people mover type vehicle. It’s possible the side windows are tinted.
Police would also like to speak to any other witnesses or anyone else who has had property taken from this campground on 1 January.
The victim has received medical attention and given detailed information in regards to the incident. She is being supported by friends and family, Victim Support and Police. The victim is not from Gisborne and has since returned home.
This was a very serious and traumatic experience for the victim being attacked in this manner and Police are appealing for anyone who may know who did this to come forward.
If you have any information which could help Police to identify the people involved or the vehicle, no matter how small, please do the right thing and come forward.
Information can be reported to Gisborne Police Station on (06) 831 0700. Alternatively, anonymous information can be reported to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Issued by Police Media Centre