Three more women were violently attacked in East Dulwich over the weekend after police failed to respond to a 999 call from a woman who was strangled in the street in front of her child.
As the News reported earlier today, a woman was left waiting for a response car that never arrived last Friday night after calling 999 four times.
She said she had been approached and strangled by a stranger in front of her ten-year-old son shortly before 9pm.
She reported that the unknown man had attacked her out of the blue on Wood Vale and tried to smash her head against a wall while her distraught child ran to try and find help.
Speaking to the News she described her fear that her attacker not only remained at large but could go on to attack other women, saying strangulation in particular is a ‘red flag’ for further, escalating violence.
Her attacker was seen remaining in the same area for some time after, but a promised police car never arrived.
Police have now admitted they were unable to race to the scene after dealing with a series of emergencies across the city the same night.
The victim, who asked to remain anonymous, was eventually told officers would visit three days later, on Monday this week.
While praising individual officers for their support she criticised their inability to attend on the night and, in particular, she was afraid the attacker would go on to hurt others.
She told this newspaper: “I called four times that night as no one turned up. Eventually it got to 1.30am and I hadn’t been able to go to sleep.
“I was so tired and they said that someone would come round to my house on Monday.
“The police could have found him straight away but now there’s not much they can do.”
Sadly, her worst fear has been realised. Over the weekend reports have circulated that three other women were targeted in exactly the same location, including a knife attack.
The victim’s injuries were, fortunately, not life-threatening but there is no update on the seriousness of her condition. Two other women were also threatened with knives in the same three day period.
Today (June 15) a 53-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm with intent and remains in custody while enquiries continue.
Police say they believe she is the only suspect, and had initially been mistaken for a man.
This week the Met launched a new scheme to help reassure women in the aftermath of the kidnap and murder of Sarah Everard.
Officers from Southwark and Lambeth are holding ‘walk and talk’ events for women to highlight safety concerns and help identify areas which can benefit from more targeted patrols.
The Met will now have to answer tough questions about whether this is enough if 999 calls go unanswered – and why this suspect was able to go on and commit a string of further horrific offences.