Oxford

Witney rape inquiry police seek witness who walked past

Church Lane, Witney
Image caption The woman was attacked in Church Lane, Witney, at about 0015 BST on Saturday

Police investigating the rape of a woman in Oxfordshire have said it is "absolutely critical" they identify a man who walked past at the time.

The 21-year-old was attacked in Church Lane, Witney, at about 0015 BST on Saturday following a night out.

Ch Insp Colin Paine said the attack was "rare and extraordinary for West Oxfordshire".

Two men, both aged 25 and from the area, were arrested on suspicion of rape. They remain in custody.

The potential witness who walked past at the time of the attack was described by officers as a tall man in dark clothing.

Mr Paine said: "I really would encourage him to come forward and make contact with us."

Mr Paine offered reassurance to members of the public, adding West Oxfordshire experienced "very low levels of crime and is one of the safest places to live in England".

"I have not come across anything like this since working in Witney," he said.

Police have stepped up patrols in the area.

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