Women urged by Wandsworth police not to walk alone in Tooting Bec Common after exposures
Police are urging women to not walk alone in Tooting Bec Common after several reports of indecent exposure and assault last week.
The offences, four of indecent exposure, two of common assault, and one of sexual assault, took place between September 28 to October 5, and resulted in five people arrested and two charged.
Officers are not linking the incidents and believe a number of individuals are causing the offences.
All of the victims have been adult women, who have been walking their dogs or running in the common alone.
None of the victims has been left seriously injured.
The majority of the attacks have taken place in a secluded wooded area where there is a lack of visibility.
High-visibility officers are leafleting in the common to warn women, while plain clothed police officers are hunting for offenders.
Detective Inspector Denis O'Connor, of Wandsworth police, said: "There is an element of Tooting Bec Common that is quite wooded and secluded.
"I think of the seven, five took place in this vicinity. There are changes that can be made to make it more difficult for them, things like lighting, width of paths and visibility.
"When the weather is better we do tend to get an increase in exposure offences. We have made real progress in the past 24 hours and I feel quite positive."
Amazingly the common is a regular haunt for such activity, with police typically dealing with about seven offences of a sexual nature every month.
Police are also looking into repositioning CCTV cameras and making some simple changes to make the common safer.
Det Insp O'Connor also recommended common-users to trust their instincts and seek help if they feel uncomfortable.
Anybody in an emergency should dial 999 or non-emergency number 101.
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