Calgary

Calgary police urge vigilance after 15 women attacked while walking alone

Calgary police are urging vigilance after more than a dozen women were assaulted while walking alone in the last three months. 

Investigators not sure if one person responsible for all groping incidents

At least 15 women have been groped while walking alone on Calgary streets and police are urging vigilance as they try to track down the assailant(s). (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)

Calgary police are urging vigilance after more than a dozen women were assaulted while walking alone in the last three months. 

Investigators are looking into the possibility that one man has assaulted at least 15 women since November. 

The groping incidents take place both in daylight and at night, according to police, who say the attacker flees immediately after.

CPS is asking women to call 911 immediately if they have been targeted so that police have a better chance at finding the offender.

"Officers will be dispatched to the area to help locate the suspect in a timely manner," said police in a written statement.

Multiple attacks in 5 communities

Communities where the assaults took place include downtown, Mission, Thorncliffe, Huntington Hills and Hillhurst. 

The most recent attack was on Tuesday in Thorncliffe.

The method of attack has been similar. While walking alone, women have been approached from behind by a man who then groped them.

In some incidents, the attacker seems to have waited for opportunities when the victims were distracted, either by an electronic device, or, as police explain, "during moments when their situational awareness was lowered, such as looking in a bag."

Investigators haven't yet determined if all of the incidents are connected to one person, or if there are multiple assailants involved.

Police have offered the following safety tips:

  • Walk with others or in well-populated areas.
  • Stay in well-lit areas with clear visibility.
  • Be aware of your surroundings — limit the use of devices that would distract. 
  • Limit the number of belongings that you are carrying in your arms to reduce vulnerability.
  • If you are attacked:
    • Make noise to attract attention.
    • Do not try to hold on to your possessions or valuables.
    • Pay attention to the physical attributes of your attacker and what they are wearing.
    • Call 911 immediately.

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