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Flashing cyclist exposes himself to series of women in west London as police hunt for culprit
12 March 2023, 11:24 | Updated: 12 March 2023, 15:26
Police are hunting for a cyclist who exposed himself and masturbated to a series of women in west London earlier this year.
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The man exposed himself to the women while on or with his bike in three separate incidents on January 21 in Chelsea and Pimlico.
At about 1pm that day a woman in her 30s was walking down Eccleston Square in Pimlico when she heard the man say ‘excuse me’ from behind her.
She turned around and saw the man standing next to a bike, exposing himself and masturbating at her.
At about 10.40 that night, two women in their 20s reported a man masturbating in public on the Fulham Road in Chelsea, just over a mile away. The suspect cycled off after they told him they would call the police.
Ten minutes later, a woman in her 30s was walking down Elystan Street, just off the Fulham Road, when a man cycled towards her with his hand in his pocket. She could see the man was masturbating when he got closer.
Officers have released an e-fit image of a man they want to speak to in connection with the incidents.
Detective Constable Gabrielle James, from Central West CID, said: “These are extremely serious crimes which have understandably had a significant impact on the women involved. We are very grateful that they came forward and reported these offences to so we can use all the resources at our disposal to identify and arrest the man involved.
“We worked quickly to identify this as a linked series and we are now urging anyone who believes they may recognise the man in this image or who has been subject to a similar offence to contact us as soon as possible.”
Kyle Walker being investigated by police over indecent exposure allegations
It comes after the Metropolitan Police commissioner told LBC there should be tougher punishments for indecent exposure, saying “a predatory male in a dark alley” would be treated the same as an “idiotic streaker on a football field” under current laws.
Sir Mark Rowley was responding to an emotional court statement from a victim of Sarah Everard’s killer Wayne Couzens, who criticised the length of time police took to contact her after reporting that Couzens had exposed his genitals to her in a fast-food drive-thru.
The commissioner said: “There is clear evidence that some of these offences haven’t been taken seriously enough and these people shouldn’t have been in the police service – in some cases they could have been dealt with better.
“We’ve stepped up our approach to indecent exposure. In some cases it is predatory, intimidating and aggressive – it is not a minor offence, it’s a very, very serious offence.”
Asked whether he believed the offence should carry tougher punishments, Sir Mark Rowley said “I do – I think there is a big difference between an idiotic streaker on a football field and a predatory male in a dark alley exposing himself to a woman on the way home from a tube station.
"I’m not sure the sentencing framework reflects the predatory and horrific nature of the second one sufficiently."
Under current laws, both streaking on a football pitch and masturbating in public carry the same maximum sentence of two years.