Detectives have today - Friday 21 September 2012 - arrested a teenage boy in connection with a serious sexual assault on a girl in Whitby.
It was reported to North Yorkshire Police on the evening of Wednesday 12 September 2012. A team of officers have been working to establish the full circumstances surrounding the incident.
Following detailed inquiries and the resulting arrest, officers are satisfied that no other person was involved in the incident.
The teenage boy remains in police custody for questioning.
Residents in Whitby are again thanked for their support and we hope they are reassured by the progress of the investigation.
21 September 2012
Town centre sex attack on Whitby girl - urgent appeal for witnesses and information
Residents and visitors in Whitby have been urged to contact North Yorkshire Police with any information that that could assist an investigation into a serious sexual assault on a girl.
The incident occurred in an alleyway between New Quay Road and Baxtergate at some time between 8.30pm and 9pm on Wednesday 12 September 2012.
It is believed an unknown man, who had a slim build and was wearing a hooded top, approached the girl in the alleyway and carried out the attack before the frightened youngster was able to make off on her bicycle.
She initially informed her friend about what had happened and then her family alerted the police.
Specialist police and medical support has been provided to the girl and her family while extensive inquiries have been carried out to establish the full circumstances surrounding the incident.
Patrols have also been stepped up to provide extra reassurance for residents and visitors who will naturally be concerned.
To assist the investigation detectives are appealing for potential witnesses or anyone with information to come forward without delay.
They also want to hear from anyone who recalls any suspicious activity or behaviour in the New Quay Road and Baxtergate area on Wednesday evening, or specifically remembers seeing a girl riding a bicycle in the town centre area at around 8.30pm to 9pm.
Detective Chief Inspector Keith Ruff, who is leading the North Yorkshire Police investigation, said: "This is a very disturbing incident which has left the young victim and her loved ones extremely frightened and shocked.
"It is vital that people come forward as soon as possible if they have information that could help the police inquiry.
"I am aiming this appeal directly to local residents and visitors too.
"No matter how small or seemingly insignificant the information may appear to be, please do the right thing and make contact with the police so we can determine its importance in the context of the investigation."
DCI Ruff added: "Serious sexual assault carried out by a stranger is a very rare crime indeed, not least when the victim is so young. It is also unusual that the attack was carried out relatively early in the evening and in a generally busy part of the town centre, albeit in the alleyway which links New Quay Road and Baxtergate.
"Nevertheless, I can assure local people that North Yorkshire Police is doing everything within its power to apprehend the suspect and seek justice for the girl."
If you can help the investigation, please contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 1, and pass information to the Force Control Room.
If you wish to remain anonymous, please contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
For both numbers, please quote reference number 12120153100.
14 September 2012