Police fear a serial sex attacker who speeds off on his bike may have targetted other woman.
Officers are warning people to be alert after they believe the man raped one woman and attempted to rape two others in the space of three months – all in the early hours.
Detectives from the Met’s South East Command Unit are investigating the three separate sexual assaults.
The first two assaults, which are being formally linked, happened on Saturday, 9 March and Sunday, 2 June.
A third offence happened on Friday, 7 June. Officers retain an open mind as to whether this is linked to the earlier two incidents.
They have also released an image of a man on a bike who they want to identify in connection with the attacks.
The image was taken by a CCTV camera in the Greenwich area on Saturday, 2 June. It shows that the man is carrying an over-sized bag, possibly a rucksack, as he rides along.
A woman in her 50s was on her way to work across Blackheath Common when she saw a man sitting on a bench in the first attack on March 9. As she got closer he got up and started walking towards her with his bike. He then grabbed her and pushed her to the ground before he attempted to rape her. The suspect then cycled away and the victim was able to get to a place of safety and police were called.
A woman in her 20s was attacked while walking along a footbridge near Tunnel Avenue, Greenwich, in the second one, on June 2. The suspect was carrying a large rucksack with zips, which was possibly khaki or dark green in colour. She was raped before the suspect sped away on his bike.
Police were called at 2.17am on Friday, 7 June to reports of an attempted rape in Margaret McMillan Park, in Glenville Grove, New Cross, in the third attack. The victim, aged in her 40s, was walking through the park when she was grabbed from behind by an unknown man. The man attempted to rape her but she managed to push him off. He then stole some cash from her jacket pocket before making off towards Douglas Way.
Detective Chief Inspector Angela Craggs is leading enquiries and said: “Our team are ensuring the welfare of the victims in each of these offences, and we have a well-resourced operation dedicated to locating whoever is responsible for these attacks.
“Stranger attacks are incredibly rare and we would like to urge people to be alert, but not alarmed.
“The first and second offences are being linked and it is possible that the attack on Friday, 7 June may also be linked.
“If you think you have information about the person in the CCTV image, or about any of the offences which could assist us, please do not delay in coming forward.
“Increased patrols are being carried out in the areas and we would urge anyone with concerns to speak to officers.
“The CCTV image shows an image of a male that we would like to speak to who we believe may be able to assist our investigation. If this is you or if you know who this person is, please contact us.
“We are also aware that there might be further victims who have not yet spoken to police; if you are a victim, or know someone who has been a victim of a sexual assault, I can assure you your information will be treated with strict confidence and sensitivity and we can also access specialist support where needed.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact the South East Safeguarding Team on 0208 284 8461, referencing Operation Ladoga. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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