Appeal to trace couple who broke up alleyway attack on 11-year-old held at knife-point

Detectives from the Met’s specialist sexual assault unit are appealing for the public’s help to trace a couple who interrupted an attempted attack on a school boy in south London.

Officers from Sapphire Team are investigating the incident, where an 11-year-old was held at knife-point in an alley while on his way home in Thornton Heath on Monday, September 9.

A spokesman said: “In Beulah Road he was approached by a boy, who has been described as black, aged approximately 16 and wearing a black puffa jacket.

“He showed the 11-year-old a knife and made him walk down an alleyway called Sandfield Passage, which runs between Bensham Grove and Parchmore Road.”

Police are investigating that the 16-year-old may have attempted to assault the younger boy, but was disturbed by a couple who came into the alleyway.

The spokesman added: “They have been described as a black woman, aged in her 20s and a black man, aged in his 30s. They entered the alleyway from the Parchmore Road end at approximately 6pm.

“The boy ran off towards Bensham Grove after being challenged by the man.”

Detective Inspector Michael Murfin, from the Metropolitan Police Service’s Sapphire team, said: “We really want to speak to this couple as they are important witnesses to this attempted attack.

“If this was you, or you know who it was, then please do contact my officers. Their intervention may have stopped something worse from happening to an 11-year-old boy, and for that I would like to thank them.

“Anyone who was in or around Beulah Road between 5pm and 6pm on Monday may have seen the suspect and I am keen to hear from them.”

Anyone with information is asked to get in touch with the unit on 0208 721 4106, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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