Police are appealing for information and witnesses after a woman in her 40s was sexual assaulted in Hemel Hempstead.
The victim was walking along Redbourn Road at around 11.40pm on Wednesday when she was approached by a man who touched her inappropriately.
But the offender was disturbed by a nearby resident who came to the woman’s aid and shouted at the man, who then ran away.
The victim is being supported by officers from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Sexual Offences Investigation Team (SOIT) and significant enquiries are on-going.
Inspector Jeff Scott, from the Dacorum Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “Incidents of this nature are unusual but I understand that news of this assault will cause some concern among the local community.
“Specialist officers from the Constabulary’s Sexual Offences Investigation Team are investigating and significant enquiries are continuing to take place. The victim is safe and is being supported by officers.
“While our work to identify and arrest the offender is on-going, we are conducting reassurance patrols in the local area and anyone with concerns should feel free to approach officers in the community or contact their local Safer Neighbourhood Team via telephone.”
Anyone with information that could assist the investigation is asked to contact Detective Inspector John Harlock by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling the non-emergency number 101, quoting crime reference 41/41379/19.
Alternatively, you can stay anonymous by contacting the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or submit details via their untraceable online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org