Women are being urged to take extra care walking at night in central London after three rapes in Soho and Covent Garden in the last seven months. Two of the attacks took place in the same street, Falconberg Mews, and there were claims that assailants are preying on women near the Crossrail building works project because of a lack of CCTV in the area.
Scotland Yard today appealed for witnesses to the latest attack in Falconberg Mews, in which a 19-year-old woman was dragged off the street and raped on Wednesday night by two men who were described as light-skinned, wearing dark clothing. Less than two weeks ago, a German tourist aged 25 was raped in nearby Covent Garden. She was seized as she smoked a cigarette outside an Italian restaurant, hauled down two streets and into an alleyway.
The first assault in Falconberg Mews was in November last year, on a 25-year-old woman. Police said today that contrary to reports, both incidents there were caught on CCTV. Det Sgt Sam Wood said: “It’s a busy area. There would have been people around at the time of the latest attack.”
Local beat officers have visited offices in the Soho area and warned women to take care walking alone at night. A spokeswoman said: “They have been giving out safety advice and providing reassurance.”
Police do not believe the three attacks are linked. A spokeswoman for Crossrail said: “We have been made aware of these concerns but this is a site managed by London Underground.”
Anyone with information should call police on 020 7321 9434.