Men from Newham among eight people arrested on suspicion of raping girl under 16

Eight men were arrested in a series of dawn raids this morning on suspicion of raping a teenage girl under the age of 16.

The operation saw Met police simultaneously swooping on homes in Newham at 5am, as well as properties across Redbridge, Havering and Hertfordshire.

Officers arrested five 23-year-old men, two 24-year-old men, and a 21-year-old man. All are currently in custody at an east London police station.

The investigation was launched by detectives from the Met’s Sapphire Command, a specialist unit set up to deal with sex crimes, following an allegation relating to alleged offences between May and November 2012.

Det Chief Insp Adam Lowe, of Sapphire Command, said: “These arrests are part of an investigation into rape and serious sexual assault carried out by a group of men in Newham and the wider east London area. Our enquiries continue.”

He urged anyone with information to contact police on 020 8217 6531 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

• During the raids, police said they also seized cash from a home in Newham while drugs were seized from another property in the borough.

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