Bradford jogger who saw naked man carrying out sexual act hits out at West Yorkshire Police after force did not send officers to the scene

A runner who was left terrified by a naked man while jogging along the Leeds Liverpool Canal claims police told her they had no one to send to the scene.

April-Joy Serrant witnessed a man carrying out a lewd sexual act next to the Leeds Liverpool Canal while out on a run. Picture: April-Joy Serrant

April-Joy Serrant was out running on the towpath near Baildon in Bradford on Friday afternoon when she saw the man, who was committing a lewd act in woodland next to the canal.

The 35-year-old, who is originally from Ireland but lives in Bradford, was shocked and terrified in the moment, and ran back in the opposite direction before calling 999.

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She later posted a video to her Facebook page hitting out at West Yorkshire Police after an officer called her back to say there was no one available to send to the scene, offering instead to send someone to take a statement from her in two days' time.

Stock image of Leeds Liverpool Canal at Saltaire, Bradford

Ms Serrant, a mental health worker, made reference to the Sarah Everard case which has ignited debate and concern about women's safety in public spaces.

In the impassioned video, which has been shared nearly 2,000 times, Ms Serrant said: "Would you not think, with having such a high profile case in the media with women already feeling vulnerable - already feeling like this stuff cannot go on and cannot continue - would you not think it would be high enough priority to send a police car to the woods? If only to send a message to me to say, that is not acceptable and we will send somebody out?

"Who else could be in those woods right now? ...But we don't have any police officers available to send."

An update from the force over the weekend said that officers had since made two arrests in connection with the case.

April-Joy Serrant witnessed a man carrying out a lewd sexual act next to the Leeds Liverpool Canal while out on a run.

Speaking to The Yorkshire Post, Ms Serrant said: "Once the video started getting a lot of traction, I had a call from a superintendent who apologised."

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The mother said she was concerned mostly for the safety of any other women who could be running in the area at the time, and was shocked and disheartened that the police were leaving the man to continue his acts in a public place.

"Running has been my freedom during the lockdown," she said.

"The incident left me wondering whether I should continue, especially along that stretch of the canal."

West Yorkshire Police said it was looking into two other allegations of indecent exposure reported in recent days near to where Ms Serrant saw the man.

The first happened on Wednesday, March 17, at 5:15pm in Roberts Park, Saltaire, while the second happened at 12:45pm on Friday at Shipley Glen Woods.

A 49-year-old male has been arrested in connection with all three incidents and remains in custody.

A second man aged 29 was also arrested in connection with the incident near to the canal and has since been released on police bail, a spokeswoman for the force said this morning (Monday).

Chief Superintendent Daniel Greenwood, Bradford District Commander, said: “We are aware of the understandable concern this incident has caused. I would appeal for anyone with information that could help in our enquiries to come forward with information.

“Officers have visited the victim to update her as to the status of our enquiries.”

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