POLICE believe a serial sex attacker has committed a spate of assaults on youngsters and is still on the loose in Blackpool.
Officers are now desperate to track down the man responsible for the string of sickening incidents, which have happened in the area surrounding Layton Cemetery since March.
In the latest case a man indecently exposed himself to two 11-year-old children as they walked through the grounds.
In the last fortnight officers have been piecing together evidence and have now revealed they believe the incident is linked to a spate of other terrifying attacks – including serious sexual assaults in the same area earlier this year.
Now, detectives have issued CCTV images of a man they need to trace in connection with the incident and are appealing for any witnesses or anyone who recognises the man to get in touch.
Det Insp Tony Baxter, from Blackpool Police’s public protection unit said: “This is obviously a concerning incident, especially in light of the other offences and we are keeping an open mind about whether they are linked.”
The latest incident happened near the Mansfield Road exit of the cemetery and police believe it bares hallmarks of two sex attacks in the summer and a series of indecent exposure incidents.
In July a 13-year-old girl was subjected to a terrifying attack as she was grabbed by a man while walking home along Talbot Road.
The assailant pushed her to the ground and began to undo his jeans but the schoolgirl managed to flee after kneeing him in the stomach.
In a similar incident in the area on August 11, a 15-year-old girl was dragged into bushes in Layton’s Kingscote Park.
The man police are looking for is described as being around 35 years old, 5ft nine inches tall and was wearing black or grey tracksuit bottoms and a hooded black or grey top at the time of the latest attack.
Detectives released an Evofit of the wanted man and said the majority of the incidents had predominantly taken place on Fridays – and young teenage girls had been targeted.
Barbara Lund, headteacher of Unity College Blackpool, on nearby Warbreck Hill Road, has already warned young girls to be vigilant when out and about in the area as a result of the incidents.
Det Insp Baxter added: “I would urge people to take a close look at this image and if anyone thinks they recognise this man they should contact police immediately.
“Clearly we need to catch this man before he does some serious harm but I would reassure people that we take offences of this nature very seriously and are doing all we can to apprehend the person or persons responsible.
“I am confident this man lives locally and that someone will know who he is.”
Officers have said extra high visibility patrols have been put on in the area will continue.
Anyone with any information about any of these incidents can contact Blackpool Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.