A woman was raped by a stranger in a churchyard, prompting an urgent search for the perpetrator.

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AN URGENT hunt to trace a man has been launched after a woman was raped in a churchyard this morning.

The victim, in her 20s, was attacked at St Mary’s Church, in Aylesbury town centre, Buckinghamshire, sometime between 5.30am and 6.15am, police said.

They added that the suspect was not known to the victim.

This prompted Thames Valley Police to issue an appeal to trace a man described as being Asian and approximately in his 30s.

After the attack perpetrator left the scene, according to the force.

The victim reported the incident to Thames Valley Police at around 6.40am.

Senior investigating officer Detective Inspector Jason Simpson said: “The incident reported is naturally very concerning and the victim is being supported by specially trained officers at this time.

“We are in the very early stages of this investigation and are conducting thorough enquiries to ascertain exactly what has happened.

“I am appealing to anybody who was in the general vicinity of St Mary’s Church or adjacent streets in the early hours of this morning to please contact Thames Valley Police if you believe you witnessed anything that can assist this investigation.

“I would also like to hear from anybody in the local area who may have been driving and has dash-cam, to please check this and contact us if it has captured anything.

“I would like to reassure the local community that we are investigating this as a priority, and there will be a considerable and very visible police presence in the area while these investigations continue.

“We currently have a scene-watch in place in St Mary’s Churchyard and expect this to remain in place for some time.

“Our investigation also includes house to house and CCTV enquiries, and so if anybody living nearby has CCTV installed, please check this and get in touch if it has captured anything that can assist us.

“You can make a report online or by calling 101, quoting reference number 43210456425.

“You can also call the independent charity Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111.

“Incidents such as are obviously concerning for the local community, and so I would also ask anybody with any concerns to please speak to one of our officers in the area.”

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