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Police Need Help Identifying Suspect
DETECTIVES investigating a number of needle attacks on women in Birmingham city centre have released an image of a suspect following the latest incident earlier this month.

The most recent assault happened at around 3am on Sunday 3 November, when a 30-year-old woman felt a sharp pain in her thigh, which was later confirmed as a puncture wound.

It was reported to police several days later, who believe the offence may be linked to two similar attacks earlier in the year on a 20-year-old woman on Sunday 23 June and a 28-year-old woman on Sunday 6 October.

Detective Inspector Julie Woods, from Force CID, said: We have received five reports in total over the last year-and-a-half and although the women have not been left with any obvious physical injuries they have had to endure an agonising wait to check that they have not suffered any long-lasting health effects.

Whilst we have been unable to confirm exactly how the injuries were caused, it is believed that a hypodermic needle may have been used on each occasion, with young women being specifically targeted.

Due to the nature of the offences, victims have not realised they have been injured until hours or days later, which has resulted in limited lines of enquiry. But we now have a particularly clear image of a man we want to identify in connection with the attacks and I would appeal for him, or anyone who knows who he may be, to come forward.

These are strange offences and the motive at this stage is unclear, which is why its so important for us to identify the person in this CCTV image as soon as possible.

Superintendent Danny Long from Birmingham Police has stepped up patrols in a bid to reassure people visiting the city centre. He said: This is an unusual offence which will understandably cause some concern and we are working extremely hard to find the person responsible.

We have increased the number of officers on patrol in Broad Street and around the city centre, particularly since the attack earlier this month, and are working closely with street wardens, street pastors, licensees, door staff and clubbers themselves to keep people safe.

Supt. Long added: Birmingham remains one of the safest cities in the UK in which to enjoy a night out but if anyone sees any suspicious activity, I would encourage them to report it to police immediately.

Anyone who recognises the man in the image should contact detectives on 101 or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111

Please see www.west-midlands.police.uk to view the image
Posted On:  28 November, 2013
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