Give us rape suspect names and we will test their DNA, cop urges

This post first appeared on Derby Telegraph. Read the original article.

Police hunting a rapist who tried to strangle his victim have urged the public to come forward with names of suspects they can DNA test.

Officers have forensic evidence from the man who attacked and raped the woman in Queens Avenue, Ilkeston, in the early hours of Sunday, November 26.

Superintendent Tracy Harrison, who is responsible for policing Erewash, has issued an appeal to women who think any previous partners may have shown similar characteristics in their relationship to come forward.

She said: "I absolutely understand how it would be if the person you think is responsible is someone you know. It's very positive that we have the DNA. It makes it absolutely easy for us to say yes if it is them or not it is not.

Superintendent Tracy Harrison

Superintendent Tracy Harrison

"If you think it's a family member, a friend or a colleague then please come forward in the confidence we can say it's them or rule them out easily. After this horrific attack somebody would have had to have acted differently.

"Somebody may have acted in this way in a previous relationship or shown similar characteristics. The message is the same, if you think it may be a former partner then you might not want to believe it but please come forward."

Supt Harrison said it cannot be ruled out the attacker may strike again. She said: "I took it personally when this happened on my area. I am responsible for policing Ilkeston. We have invested a lot of time with forensics, leaflets, the investigation and safer neighbourhood officers spending time in the community and members of the public reading and sharing the appeals."

She said she would be "deeply saddened" if the man was to attack again but urged people to come forward and help stop it from happening again.

As well as revealing the fact they now have the attacker's DNA the force has released a series of photographs of people who were in the area around the time the attack took place who they would like to talk to as potential witnesses.

Officers would also like to speak to anybody that was on the Trent Barton number two bus from Nottingham to Ilkeston on the morning of Sunday, November 26. The bus left Nottingham just after 3.15am and arrived in Nottingham Road, Ilkeston at 3.40am.

And the independent charity Crimestoppers is offering a £10,000 reward for any information which leads to the arrest and conviction of the attacker.

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Supt Harrison added: "We're very grateful for Crimestoppers for offering the reward.

"We're also very keen to talk to the people in the photos who we think can help in this investigation."

Anyone with information about the incident can contact the dedicated Derbyshire police team by calling 101 quoting reference number 17000514655 or click here and complete and submit the form. Using this method will not qualify for a Crimestoppers reward.

You can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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