Police are appealing for information after a teenage girl was raped in broad daylight last Friday in Tower Hamlets.
The attack happened at around 3.30pm on Friday, February 26 on Damien Street in Whitechapel. Detectives from the Metropolitan Police’s Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command are investigating the incident.
A statement from the Met Police described the suspect as an ‘approximately 20 year-old’ Asian man with a moustache. He was wearing a red Nike cap, black jacket, white T-shirt, blue jeans and black Nike Air Force trainers.
Since the attack, the girl has been seen by specialist support services and is being supported by specialist sexual offence investigation officers.
Anyone who was in or around the area at that time, who may have seen or heard anything they think is suspicious, or who saw the described suspect, is asked to call the police.
This comes less than a fortnight after it was revealed that cuts to policing have caused officers in Tower Hamlets and other neighbourhoods in London to be taken off their local beats to “plug gaps” elsewhere in the city, particularly at public events.
A total of 337 shifts per month were lost from the Met’s Tower Hamlets division in 2014. Data obtained by EastLondonLines shows that the uniformed police presence in Tower Hamlets has fallen by 24 per cent since May 2010.
Speaking for the Met Police, Commander BJ Harrington from Specialist Crime & Operations said: “Our officers provide an essential policing response in the most efficient way possible.”
“By using police drawn largely from across London’s boroughs we do not need to hold a large reserve of officers waiting for operations to happen. It is inaccurate to say that they are ‘plugging gaps’; they are supporting local boroughs and neighbourhoods with a specific policing response.”
Anyone with information can contact detectives at the Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command via 101, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or at Crimestoppers-uk.org