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Appeal following sexual assaults on Lewisham and Southwark buses

News   •   Jan 29, 2017 07:00 GMT

[NOTE: Images removed following arrest]

Police have today, Sunday, 29 January, released an image of a man wanted for questioning in connection with a series of sexual assaults on buses in Lewisham and Southwark.

The first incident took place on Tuesday, 24 January at around 21.30hrs. Police were called to attend following reports of a man touching women on the number 12 bus in the Dulwich area.

A 22-year woman was travelling home when the suspect deliberately sat next to her, despite there being many free seats on the bus.

The suspect asked her whether she was alright and engaged her in further small talk. As she got up to leave, he sexually assaulted her.

The woman then moved to a different part of the bus and witnessed the man approach another victim, a 17-year-old girl, who confronted him. The incidents were reported to the bus driver, and the man alighted in Barry Road, Dulwich.

Three days later on Friday, January 27, a different 17-year-old girl boarded a 176 bus at around 15:15hrs. A short time later, the same suspect boarded the bus and sat opposite her. After trying to speak to her, he intentionally fell onto the victim and touched her inappropriately.

Later on that day at around 17:00hrs, a 13-year-old girl reported that she was sexually assaulted whilst travelling on a 363 bus. A second 13-year-old also subsequently reported a man of the same description trying to engage her in conversation on the 197 bus near Dulwich Library, SE22, which made her feel uncomfortable.

At around 17:50hrs, a-15-year-old girl boarded a 171 bus at Catford Train station. The suspect, coming from another part of the bus, sat opposite from her and started to touch her knee. Feeling frightened, she got off the bus nearly Bromley Road, SE6. The man followed her and tried to engage her in conversation before groping her. The victim then ran off.

Police are treating these incidents as linked and want to public's help to trace the suspect. He is described as a black male, aged in his twenties, with short black hair and facial stubble. He was wearing a black bomber jacket with a white fur trim on the hood and blue baggy jeans.

DC Alex Price from the Met's Road and Transport Policing Command said: "We are keen to trace the suspect carrying out these despicable attacks on young girls and women in public. Five victims have been targeted by this man and we believe there could be many more victims who are yet to come forward."

Members of the public are advised not to approach the male if spotted but to call 999. To give information about the man pictured please call 101. To remain anonymous contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

You can also tweet the police via @MetCC.