Rape investigation launched after 'distressed' victim found in Yorkshire park


    Officers from West Yorkshire Police were called to Stanningley Park, Leeds, at about 8am after receiving a report of a woman in distress. The woman is now being supported by specialists, the force said.

    As part of its investigation, large parts of the park in the Pudsey area of the Yorkshire city have been cordoned off.

    At least four police officers and seven police vehicles were seen at the cordon by passers-by and the taped off area, which covers about a quarter of the park, remains in place, according to Leeds Live.

    A spokesperson for the force said: “At 7.48am today (Saturday), police received a concern for safety report relating to a distressed female in a park close to Intake Lane, Stanningley.

    “An allegation of rape has been made and specially trained officers are now supporting the victim and making further enquiries into this report.”

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    It is described online as a “loop that sticks to well lit paths, avoids crossing busy roads and even has a little challenging hill climb in it”.

    It is not known if the victim of the alleged attack was a jogger.

    In October work began to improve on a raft of improvements to the park – which includeD a new pathway for walking, jogging and cycling.

    As part of a consultation into the future of Stanningley Park, residents suggested extending the footpaths to make a circuit for walking, jogging and cycling alongside measures to prevent vehicles damaging pitches and intimidating users.

    This gave the Bramley and Stanningley councillors the idea to introduce a green border treatment around the park which would be more attractive than a fence, add bio-diversity and benefit the environment, as well as preventing vehicle access.

    At the same time the new path will be created. The soil will be dug up from the path and be used to create contours, which will then be planted with young trees and shrubs.

    The path will be crushed stone, and the banking and border planting will hopefully give some protection against vehicles entering the park in a more attractive and environmentally friendly format than a fence.

    In a joint statement to online publication West Leeds Dispatch, councillors Kevin Ritchie, Caroline Gruen and Jools Heselwood said: “We felt the crushed stone would be more appropriate than tarmac for the path in this location, it is very durable and will be maintained going forward.

    “We are very excited about this next phase which will be aesthetically appealing, while securing the boundary, contribute to combating climate change and create more opportunities for healthy, inclusive activity in the park.

    “We understand the slow pace of improvements at the park is frustrating, but we lack the funding that other wards with lots of development get, which is the main source of funding for greenspace improvements.”

    The works are part of Leeds City Council’s climate change agenda to plant nearly six millions trees over the next 25 years.


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