Police have launched an appeal after a fifteen-year-old girl was raped in Peckham on Sunday (January 30).
Officers have said this is not linked to the rape that was originally reported in Peckham earlier in January – but did not actually take place there.
At about 6.30pm on Sunday, the fifteen-year-old girl was walking past McDonalds on Rye Lane. A man started speaking to her, taking her along Elm Grove and to a small green area between Elm Grove and Bellenden Road, where he raped her.
The man is described as a black male, aged in his 20s or 30s, 5ft 6 inches tall, of medium build and with cropped hair. He also had a full beard. He was wearing a hooded puffa jacket and black jogging bottoms.
A man in his 30s was arrested on suspicion of rape on Monday (January 31) and remains in police custody.
The victim is being fully supported by specialist officers.
A crime scene has been put in place.
Detective Superintendent Clair Kelland, who is leading the investigation, said: “We have launched an extensive and fast moving investigation into this horrendous incident and we are doing everything we can to support the young victim.
“I am mindful that this will have a considerable impact on the local community, in particular women and young girls. With this in mind, there will be additional reassurance patrols within this area in the coming days.
“I would also like to reiterate that we can conclusively confirm that the stranger rape reported on Friday, 14 January did not occur within the vicinity of Peckham and there is currently no evidence to suggest that these incidents are linked.
“We would like to speak to anyone who was in this area between 17:00 and 19:00hrs on 30 January who saw anything that might assist our investigation.”
Councillor Darren Merrill, Southwark’s cabinet member for a safer, cleaner borough, said: “I am shocked and horrified by this dreadful attack; my thoughts are with the girl and her recovery after what has happened to her.
“We are supporting the police investigation and, for the sake of the person concerned, we know that it is vital we allow the police the space and time needed to thoroughly investigate the incident. Our wardens and young advisors are around in the area to support and reassure people.”
Some locals have raised concerns about the area around Peckham Rye station, which can feel unsafe in the dark. The council said that safety was among its top priorities and all of the lighting around the station was working, other than one that is being fixed. A spokesperson said that men attack women happens regardless of lighting.
Southwark added that its research shows that women felt less safe in areas around public transport even if they are safe, and were working to “design out” crime and anti-social behaviour in new and upcoming developments such as the one at Peckham Rye.
Any witnesses or anyone with any information should call police on 101, or Tweet @MetCC quoting 5943/30JAN22. To remain 100% anonymous call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit crimestoppers-uk.org.