Police ‘warned’ of attacks on lone women near where Sarah Everard vanished

Police searching for missing Sarah Everard had been told of attacks on lone women close to where the 33-year-old vanished, it has been claimed.

Sarah has not been seen since going missing on Wednesday, March 3, after leaving a friend's house in Clapham, south-west London, at around 9pm.

She was due to arrive home in nearby Brixton less than an hour later but has not been seen or heard from since, sparking desperate appeals and searches trying to locate her.

Now, it is understood detectives investigating her disappearance had been aware of assaults on women in the area, according to the Times.

In January, Metropolitan Police officers received a report of sexual harassment on a young female on Hydethorpe Road, just half a mile from where Sarah was last caught on CCTV.

At the start of February, a woman was reportedly witnessed being chased by a man just over a mile away and three weeks ago, a 14-year-old girl was followed by a man in a van less than half a mile from where Sarah was last seen.

Meanwhile, other women said they reported groups of men following a woman in neighbouring district Balham.

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It comes after cops warned women to be careful when walking outside alone after Sarah vanished.

Alarmed women revealed that police told them to be vigilant in the wake of Sarah's mystery disappearance.

One, aged in her 30s, said: "I was told to be more careful because I live on my own.

“The police came round and said to be careful. I don’t want to leave the house at the moment. You don’t know what happened."

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Another resident added: "They said to be more vigilant."

Scotland Yard has said it is not yet linking Sarah's disappearance to any other incidents and is treating it as a missing person's case while staying "open-minded".

Detective Chief Inspector Katherine Goodwin, who is leading the investigation, said: "This is definitely a missing person investigation at the moment but I remain open-minded as to all possibilities in the investigation.

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The detective said her officers have reviewed hours of CCTV in an effort to trace her movements from the night she was last seen.

She appealed for anyone with more footage to come forward, particularly people with a dashcam in their vehicles. Around 750 people have already been spoken to by officers as they desperately try to locate the missing woman.

On Monday searches continued in the area, with police examining a small park close to where Sarah's mobile phone signal was last registered. Divers searched a pond while sniffer dogs scoured the area.

Sarah was last seen wearing a green waterproof jacket, navy-blue trousers with a white diamond pattern, and turquoise and orange trainers.

She may also have been wearing green earphones and a white beanie hat.

Sarah's uncle Nick Everard pleaded with any potential abductor to "just be human and let her come home".

Sarah's family previously said her disappearance is "out of character".

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