WOMEN have spoken of their fears as police continue their search for a serial sex attacker in Wellingborough.
Police are hunting for a white man aged between about 17 and 30 who has attacked five women since January.
The attacker has struck between 10pm and 5.30am at various locations across Wellingborough, including Irthlingborough Road, Herriotts Lane and Gisburne Road.
All of the victims were walking on their own when they were followed by the offender, who covers his face with a scarf.
The attackers exposes himself before indecently assaulting the victims.
Women are being urged to take extra precautions to improve their own personal safety, including avoiding walking alone late at night or in the early hours and buying a personal safety alarm which can be bought online for about £5.
Emily Buchanan, 31, from Queensway, Wellingborough, said she was concerned for her daughter’s safety following the attacks.
She said: “My daughter is only 14 but she does walk to her friends’ houses on her own.
“You have to give them some freedom but I will not be letting her walk on her own any more.
“When I was younger I took body spray around with me in my bag to spray at anyone who might have attacked me.
“It does make you concerned when you hear things like this.”
Lauren Watkins, 16, of Wilby Way, Wellingborough, said: “I never walk on my own through the town at night. This does make me nervous though.”
Terri Wodding, 75, of Gannet Lane, Wellingborough, said: “I think that it’s dreadful that women are being targeted.
“Women should try to walk together if they have to go somewhere or to work in the morning and carry what they can to protect themselves.
“A lot of my friends walk to work early in the morning and they are much more vulnerable with the street lights being off.”
Wellingborough Taxi Drivers’ Association chairman Barry Liffen urged women not to walk home on their own after nights out.
He said: “Every weekend I see females walking home after nights out on their own.
“I would urge all women to get a taxi home rather than walking home.
“They should budget for a taxi as part of their night out, it should be important for them to do that.
“I always try to drop women off at their door, even if they say to drop them at a corner.”
Wellingborough Pub Watch vice-chairman Sanjai Tailor said: “We would urge people to stay in their groups and make sure they get a licensed taxi home.
“The town is a very safe environment, there’s CCTV all over the town, it’s when they get outside the town centre that they need to make sure they are responsible for their safety.”
Police will be offering advice to anyone with concerns at Morrisons between 11am and 2pm today.
Personal safety advice is also available from Wellingborough police station front desk
Information on personal safety can be found online at www.northants.police.uk or from the Suzy Lamplugh Trust at www.suzylamplugh.org.