Rape investigation as police hunt masked sex attacker

Police say they are now treating a sex attack in woodland as a rape investigation.

Northumbria Police say a woman was sexually assaulted by a man in the Avebury Drive/Glebe Crescent area of Washington Village at around 2am on Sunday morning.

Police officers at the scene of a sex attack in Washington on Sunday.

Police officers at the scene of a sex attack in Washington on Sunday.

Forensics officers from Northumbria Police sealed off an area of land next to a footpath close to Glebe Crescent and Avebury Drive, leading to an underpass by the A195, as the investigation continues.

The man is described as being of medium build with blue eyes and was wearing a balaclava.

Superintendent Ged Noble said: "Dealing with rape or any sexual offence is incredibly sensitive and hugely distressing for the victim and often it can take time to fully establish the facts around what has happened.

"Throughout yesterday and today we have been carrying out further enquiries and we are continuing to work closely with the victim to gather as much information as possible using specially trained officers to ensure she has all of the support she needs.

Police officers at the scene of a sex attack in Washington on Sunday.

Police officers at the scene of a sex attack in Washington on Sunday.

"I completely understand that the local community will be very concerned about this incident and I can assure them that extra police patrols will continue to be in the area.

"We take reports of rape and sexual offences incredibly seriously and will always carry out a full and thorough investigation and ensure victims are supported by specially trained officers and we always encourage victims to come forward and report incidents to us."

Extra patrols and officers have been in the area to carry out enquiries.

Anyone who has information can call 101 and quote 18712 / 03/ 2017.