Assaults At Medical Centres In Wandsworth

A message of reassurance from Wandsworth Police Chief

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Media coverage yesterday may have given the impression that there has been is a series of sexual attacks in the Borough and a suspect remains at large. This is not the case and I have taken this opportunity to provide the facts and reassure those who may be concerned.

Two incidents have been reported to police whereby a male has entered medical clinics/practices in the Southfields area and threatened staff with a knife. These incidents occurred on 2nd and 4th July 2012. The motives for these attacks is unclear.

An investigation was launched on 2nd July and significant further resources were deployed to this enquiry when a second similar offence took place on 4th July. At that time officers from our Safer Neighbourhood Teams attended and warned staff working in similar premises in Southfields and a wider area across the Borough. The incidents reported were very specific and the risk to the wider public was judged to be very low.

Within 48 hours the police investigations resulted in an arrest. The investigation continues and a male arrested is currently on bail with appropriate conditions to ensure that there is no further risk to the public. There has been no repeat of these incidents since th4 July 2012.

My officers are called to make these type of judgements daily. I am satisfied that the warnings provided were proportionate to the risk and avoided raising alarm where frankly there was absolutely no risk to the vast majority of the public.

I would always remind people that they can report incidents of crime at any time dialling 999 if the matter is urgent and 101 in other cases.

David Chinchen - Wandsworth Borough Commander

July 27, 2012