Police on the hunt for pervert as two women groped on Princes Street

Two women were groped at bus stops on Princes Street. Picture: Neil Hanna

Two women were groped at bus stops on Princes Street. Picture: Neil Hanna

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A HUNT was under way today for a pervert who groped two women at bus stops in the city centre – in front of other passengers.

• Two women groped at bus stops on the Mound and Princes Street

• Police looking for a “distinctive” long-haired man

The brazen suspect indecently assaulted one of the victims while up to eight people waited nearby for a bus, a short time after attempting to kiss another woman.

Police said he may have approached others and urged anyone who recognised descriptions of the “distinctive” long-haired man to come forward. In the first incident, a 20-year-old woman was using her mobile phone at a bus stop on The Mound when the man tried to kiss her at 8.15pm on Thursday night.

She managed to fight him off, and he ran off down Princes Street.

Five minutes later, a 26-year-old woman was approached at a crowded bus stop on Princes Street having become aware of someone following her as she walked down The Mound.

As she stopped at the bus stop opposite Boots on Princes Street to catch a No 31, the man indecently assaulted her before running off.

Investigating officer Constable Carolyn Cowie said: “In the first incident at The Mound, it was very quiet and the woman was quite isolated – she was particularly shaken up by what happened.

“In the case on Princes Street, it was quite busy and there could have had as many as eight people at the bus stop.

“It was crammed so it might not have been obvious that something was happening.

“A couple of people appeared to realise something had happened because she was upset.

“They asked if she was OK after the man had left the scene. We’re very keen to speak to those two people in particular, or indeed anybody else who was at the bus stop at that time.”

The suspect was described by the first victim at The Mound as white, 35-45 years, of medium build, with long dark hair with a wavy or curly fringe. He was smartly dressed and well-spoken, wearing dark trousers and dark shoes, and was carrying a dark-coloured shoulder bag.

The second victim described him as being 26-35 years, wearing a hood, and again with long dark hair which was wavy at the front.

City centre councillor Joanna Mowatt advised women to be alert.

She said: “These crimes are most unpleasant and it’s alarming for all women to think someone would take a chance like that in such a public area.

“People need to be very vigilant – not just for themselves but for others.

“I’m not advocating vigilantism, but a polite ‘excuse me are you all right love’ will usually put these types off.”

Anyone with any information should contact Lothian and Borders Police on 0131-311 3131 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

dawn.morrison@edinburghnews.com