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Extra police patrols in Hythe this weekend following two sex attacks along Royal Military Canal

By Matt Leclere

Police are mounting extra patrols in Hythe this weekend following two sex attacks in the space of two weeks.

Two men have been arrested and released on bail after two women in their 20s reported being sexually assaulted along the path next to the Royal Military Canal.

Detectives today renewed their appeal for witnesses, but said they were not linking the two incidents.

Police at the canal path where Hatcher was arrested

The first was reported to have happened at 7.30am on Sunday, June 22 along the canal footpath which runs parallel to Seabrook Road.

A woman in her 20s was reportedly walking along the path between Cannongate Road and Hospital Hill and was dragged into a secluded after being approached by a man who sexually assaulted her.

The second incident was in the early hours of Saturday morning, July 5.

A woman in her 20s was walking along Green Lane - close to the canal - at 1.30am when she was allegedly approached from behind and forced into bushes before being sexually assaulted.

Police taped off a canal path in Hythe after a sex attack

Police have arrested two men - a 42-year-old who has been released on bail until September 5 and a 30-year-old who was also given bail until September 30.

DCI Paul Fotheringham from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate said the incidents were not being linked.

He added: "I would like to remind members of the public that whilst incidents such as these are very rare, it is still important to think about your personal safety when out and about.

"Stick to well-lit areas and try and avoid travelling alone at night.

"Stick to well-lit areas and try and avoid travelling alone at night" -DCI Fotheringham

"It is also helpful to let others know where you’re going and when you’ll be home.

"My officers and I are carrying out a number of lines of enquiry and this is very much a live investigation.

"We are aware of the similarities in the nature of the two offences and their locations, however, at this stage we are not formally linking them and we are keeping an open mind.

"There will be an increased police presence in Hythe this weekend to help reassure local residents and to carry out enquiries.

"I would urge anyone who may have information about either of these two offences or who may have been in the areas at the times they took place, to come forward.

"No amount of information should be considered too small or insignificant. We understand there were some people in the areas at the times of these offences and we would very much like to hear from them."

Anyone with information is asked to contact Kent Police by calling 01303 289600 and quoting reference ZY/20632/14.

Alternatively, call Kent Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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