Enfield Jubilee Park rape: 'Grounds were locked'

Police prepare to search on Sunday
Image caption The park is closed while inquiries continue

The council in charge of a north London park where an 11-year-old girl was raped has said the grounds were locked at the time of the assault.

The girl was dragged from Galliard Road into Jubilee Park, Lower Edmonton, Enfield, after getting off a bus from school at about 17:00 GMT on Friday.

Locals said it was not uncommon for people to be in the park after dark.

But Enfield Council said the gates were locked in the usual way and it was difficult to stop people breaking in.

Police believe the attack may have lasted two to three hours.

The victim has undergone surgery.

'Isolated incident'

A sign on the main gate of Jubilee Park says it is closed at 16:14 GMT.

Enfield Council said the gates to the park were all shut by 16:50 GMT each day and are closed in the same order.

A spokesperson said: "Jubilee Park was locked according to schedule, as it is every evening.

"While the thoughts of the entire council are with the victim of this horrific crime and her family, it is worth bearing in mind that parks by their very nature are designed to be accessible and it is extremely difficult to prevent access to people determined to break into them."

The council said the parks police would work closely with park users to deal with any concerns raised about safety.

Police are stationed at the park which has been closed to the public as inquiries continue.

Ch Insp Taylor Wilson said it was an "isolated and extremely rare incident".

Police have described the suspect as a black male with Afro hair wearing a dark grey top and black baggy jeans.

They have appealed to motorists, pedestrians and anyone who may have been using the park between 16:45 and 20:00 GMT and seen a man following a girl in school uniform.

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