Mitcham man arrested in connection with Colliers Wood rape investigation
A man has been arrested in connection with a suspected rape of a woman in her 20s in the early hours of Sunday morning.
The alleged sexual assault took place at about 2.30am on Sunday morning in parkland on the former railway track which leads from Victoria Road to the Tandem Centre.
It is often used as a short-cut to Colliers Wood station.
Shocked members of the Lavender Residents and Tenants Association committee held a meeting last night to discuss what had happened in the close-knit area.
Self defence classes are being proposed by committee member Neil Malcolm.
Mr Malcolm said: "We want to build something positive out of this.
"What really concerns me is that there is no statement to warn residents."
Casey Weetom, of Fairfields Close, a residential road backing onto the path, said: "Someone from here said they heard a scream at about three o’clock in the morning.
"No-one got up because there are often foxes screaming.
"Police had tape up from Sunday morning and they left at about six or seven o’clock but they had forensics down."
Officers from Operation Sapphire trained to deal with sex crimes spent time searching through marshland around the footpath in the days afterward.
Tim Edwards, who lives in Fairfields Close, said: "There are always people drinking at the pond and sometimes there’s a bit of noise.
"We walk through that way to the station and we’ve never had anything like this before.
"If I’ve been out with my fiancé we go through there if it is light but I think it is better to go the longer way and in the future we won’t be going to the station along the track."
Anand Sivanandam, a housing officer for Millat Asian Housing Association in Victoria Road, said: "That place is dangerous, I would never walk there.
"It’s a short cut but I never take that. Once I rushed to go to the post office but I was worried I would get mugged."