Man, 26, arrested after alleged rape of young girl

3 November 2020, 19:42 | Updated: 4 November 2020, 10:50

A man has been arrested on suspicion of rape
A man has been arrested on suspicion of rape. Picture: PA

A suspect has been arrested following an alleged attack on a young girl in Merton.

The Metropolitan Police earlier released a plea for the suspect to hand himself in following the incident in the North Place area of Mitcham, near Colliers Wood.

Officers urged him to hand himself in “for his safety, as well as members of the public”, with groups believed to be hunting him down.

Police said a 26-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of rape just after 8pm following a call from a member of the public.

After angry groups gathered at addresses in the area, police urged local residents not to take the law into their own hands.

Police were called shortly after 7am on Tuesday and a crime scene remains in place in Mitcham.

Detective Superintendent Owain Richards said: “I am appealing directly to Kadian to attend his nearest police station immediately, or to call police and inform us as to his whereabouts.

“This is for his safety, as well as members of the public.

“I recognise that this is a shocking and distressing incident and emotions locally are running very high.

“We are of course aware of videos and images circulating on social media, and of groups of people attending various addresses.

“I urge those people to go home. Do not try to take the law into your own hands or you may end up doing something you regret and potentially face police action yourself.

“You must allow us to do our jobs. It is imperative that we follow the right processes as we investigate this incident as any interference could potentially affect proceedings further down the line.”

He said a stop and search order has been authorised for the Borough of Merton and Wandsworth area.

Any witnesses or those who have information that could assist police are asked to call 101 ref CAD 1063/ 3 Nov. Alternatively tweet @MetCC, or contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.