POLICE have increased plain clothes patrols after an 11-year-old girl was twice approached by a stranger on her way to school last week.
Officers took up positions near Beddington Park yesterday (Monday) as part of their efforts to find the middle-aged man, who approached the Year 7 pupil on September 24 and 25 near the London Road entrance to the park, while on her way to school.
Sutton Police say have taken the unusual step of revealing their early morning covert operations to reassure parents about "the proactive steps being taken by police to protect children".
Sgt Gavin Weldon said: "The Safer Parks Teams are well placed to do this kind of work. We know the local parks extremely well along with the roads and short cuts around them. We also have the flexibility to swop between uniform and plain clothes at short notice and to change our shifts.
"Although there were no sightings of the suspect whilst we were in the area, further uniformed and plain clothes operations are planned."
The suspect is described as black, aged late 40s, about 5ft 7in tall and of slim build. He had a stubbly, dark Afro Caribbean hair and a distinctive protruding bottom lip. He was wearing a baseball cap, dark jeans and hooded jacket.
Anyone with information should contact Sutton Police station on 101. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.