Police warning after spate of sexual assaults in south London park

Women are being urged to stay on their guard after a spate of sexual assaults in a south London park.

The Metropolitan Police is investigating six separate attacks on women at South Norwood Country Park, in Croydon, between Friday May 3 and Friday June 21.

The force said each of the victims, who were aged from their early 30s to mid 60s, were walking or jogging alone, five of them with dogs.

All of the attacks happened on weekdays in broad daylight between 10.50am and 4.30pm, with four women being sexually assaulted and in four cases the attacker either stole or attempted to steal mobile phones from the victims.

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None of the victims suffered any further injuries, police said.

Detectives are treating the offences as linked and are hunting for a suspect described as a black male, aged between 16 and 25, tall, thin and with dark hair.

The force appealed for witnesses and warned people to remain vigilant.

Detective Sergeant Matt Loftus, who is leading the investigation, said: “We are working hard to identify the suspect in this case and are appealing for anyone who might have seen or heard anything to speak to us, however insignificant they think the information may be.

“We would advise park users to be vigilant and will be providing additional patrols in the area.”

The four sexual assaults were at 4.30pm on May 3, 1.15pm on May 14, and at 3.05pm and 3.20pm on June 20, with mobile phones being stolen during the last two attacks.

A mobile phone was stolen at 3pm on June 21 while the attempted theft of a phone took place at 10.50am on May 15.

Witnesses should call the police on 101 quoting reference CAD 5140/20JUN19 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.