Concerned residents and community groups have asked women to avoid walking on their own in South Norwood Country Park until the local police are able to confirm that they have arrested and charged a man wanted for six assaults, four of them sexual.
The assaults began in early May.
There may have been a sighting of a man fitting the description of the attacker this morning, at around 9.30am, by a woman walking three dogs and pushing a baby buggy. But after beginning to approach her, the man ran off when another man came into sight.
The police did announce yesterday that they had taken a man into Croydon police station for questioning, but he was later released without charge.
The police investigation is being conducted into six separate attacks on women between Friday, May 3 and Friday, June 21. Each of the victims – aged from their early 30s to mid-60s – were walking or jogging alone, five of them with dogs.
All the offences occurred in daylight and on weekdays between 10.50am and 4.30pm.
In four cases the suspect either stole or attempted to steal mobile phones from the victims.
The police say that they are treating the offences as linked.
The suspect is described as a black male, aged between 16 and 25, tall, thin and with dark hair.
A South Norwood community activist contacted Inside Croydon today, advising other women to exercise extreme caution around South Norwood Country Park for the time being.
“Please be vigilant,” they said. “Please do not go to the park on your own until the attacker is caught and charged.”
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