Police have named a man they are working to trace in connection with an alleged rape in Merton. He is urged to turn himself in to police immediately.
They have also been warned against taking any kind of vigilante action.
Officers are searching for Kadian Nelson, 26, who is believed to live in the Mitcham area.
Footage on social media shared thousands of times shows a man in a grey tracksuit escorting a young girl, with his hand over her mouth and then fleeing when confronted by a passerby.
Det Supt Owain Richards said: “Police have been conducting extensive enquiries today to locate Kadian Nelson after an allegation of rape was received shortly after 7am in the North Place area on Tuesday, 3 November. A teenage girl is being supported by specialist officers.
“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.
“A Section 60 Order has been authorised for the entirety of the Borough of Merton and Wandsworth, granting police additional stop and search powers, as a result of fears of serious violence.”
A police is investigation is underway and people are asked to please be mindful of sharing information via social media that could identify the alleged victim, or affect any potential future proceedings.
Any witnesses or those who have information that could assist police is asked to call 101 ref CAD 1063/ 3 Nov.
Alternatively tweet @MetCC, or contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
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