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An 18-year-old woman plunged to her death from the 17th floor of a block of flats in an apparent bid to escape police.

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Scotland Yard faces an inquiry from the police watchdog after it emerged officers were attempting to recall her to prison when she fell from a window.

The woman had been convicted in connection with three street robberies in London in 2009, and was out on licence after serving part of her sentence, Scotland Yard said.

Neighbours described how the “friendly” teenager’s death was witnessed by children on the estate. Witnesses also said a row could be heard from the flat before she fell.

Police arrived at the flat in Mulgrave Road, in Woolwich, south-east London, at 9.30am “to carry out an arrest inquiry”.

Officers said the woman was alone in a bedroom, with the door half open, when she fell.

A man, understood to be her boyfriend, was arrested at the time on suspicion of assisting an offender. He has since been bailed.

The incident has been referred to both the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) and the force’s Directorate of Professional Standards.

Area commander David Zinzan of the Metropolitan Police said: “Firstly, I would like to express on behalf of the Met our condolences to the family and friends of the young lady who tragically died here this morning.

“Formal identification has not taken place but the facts as we know them are shortly before 9.30am this morning two plain-clothed officers from Bromley police station came to Hastings House for routine arrest inquiries in connection with a young lady who was wanted by the Met for recall to prison for robbery offences.

“They were allowed into the premises and our initial investigations show that she was in a room on her own when tragically she fell to her death from the 17th floor.”

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