Police last night arrested a 29-year-old Napier man for the indecent assault of a woman in Burns Road on Sunday morning.

The 29-year-old man was due to appear in Hastings District Court this morning on a charge of indecent assault.

They are continuing to investigate other, similar attacks on women around the Hawke's Bay area, and have yet to establish if there are connections between them

Police are appealing to anyone with operating CCTV cameras in the areas where five women were assaulted in the space of one week to come forward.


An investigation into the five indecent assaults against women in Napier, Taradale and Havelock North this month is ongoing as police work to determine if there is a connection between the incidents.

Hawke's Bay area commander Inspector Dave Greig said information provided by the community was critical to advancing the investigation.

"To date we've had a very pleasing response from the community to our appeals for information. We are particularly interested in hearing from anyone who may have CCTV cameras operating in the vicinity of the offence locations."

The offending was concerning and police were working hard to investigate the incidents, with a significant focus on establishing if there was any connection between them, he said.

"This investigation is a priority for Hawke's Bay police and is being resourced accordingly by a team of very focused and capable investigators."

Last Friday inquiry head Detective Sergeant Jason Crow of the Hawke's Bay CIB announced a team of detectives were investigating several indecent assaults in Hawke's Bay.

Three days later police were investigating a further two incidents after women in Napier and Havelock North were indecently assaulted in public places on Sunday morning.

A woman walking with her children on Burns Rd in Napier at about 8.45am was approached by a young man and indecently assaulted by him, before he ran away towards Battery Rd.

Following this at about 9.55am a woman walking on Iona Rd in Havelock North was also indecently assaulted by a young man who ran away down Breadalbane Rd.

Schools have not been immune to the offending either with two students reporting being grabbed by a man in separate, back-to-back incidents almost two weeks ago.

On the afternoon of November 1 a Woodford House student was out running with a friend when she was reportedly grabbed by a young, well-dressed male as they ran past him on Palmerston Rd, Havelock North.

The next morning a Napier Girls' High student reported being grabbed from behind while walking to school on the Harvey Rd steps that link to Sealy Rd on Bluff Hill, Napier.

Earlier this week police released CCTV footage of a "person of interest" in the investigation into the indecent assault on Burns Rd, Napier.

Information had been received from the community about the man in the footage and the investigation team had followed up, Mr Greig said.

He said the appeal for information was still ongoing.

Under the Crimes Act the maximum penalty for indecent assault is seven years' jail time.

Police advised those walking alone at night to keep to well-lit areas, keep bags with valuables close to the body, keep cellphone at hand, walk on the gutter-side of footpaths and facing oncoming traffic.

"If you are approached by a man in a manner such as this, try to shout and scream, because the more noise you make, the more people will notice.

"If you become a victim, ring 111 as soon as you can, and if you think you've witnessed any suspicious behaviour within the Napier Hill, Taradale or Havelock North areas over the last month or so, please don't hesitate to call police," Mr Crowe said.

People with information can ring Hawke's Bay CIB on 06 211 3872 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 if they wish to remain anonymous.