Harold Hill housing manager Betra “waits two weeks” to warn residents about sexual assault

Tenants on a Harold Hill estate have been warned to beware a sex predator after a “young girl” was assaulted near their homes.

But the organisation that manages the block in Barnstaple Road didn’t tell residents about the incident until two weeks after it took place.

Concerned tenant Bill Swain said: “If there is a dangerous sex predator in this neighbourhood, I’m somewhat puzzled and bewildered as to why those lethargic individuals at [housing association] Betra waited two weeks before issuing that important warning and advice to local parents and residents.”

Police said a female aged under 18 was sexually assaulted in nearby Montgomery Crescent on Sunday August 12 at 9.30pm. No arrests have yet been made.

The police were informed on August 13 and had no record of speaking to Betra.


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In its letter to tenants, dated August 28, Betra described the victim as a “young girl” and said it had also been informed about “inappropriate behaviour, the use of foul language, lurid comments and certain gestures of a sexual nature […] being directed towards young girls.”

When the Recorder contacted Betra to find out when the housing association had been made aware of the incident, it was told: “I’m not telling you.”

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But the employee did say the letter had been sent to residents because it had a “duty of care” towards them.

Anyone who witnessed the incident or has any information about it is asked to contact the police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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