Police have urged a rape suspect to hand himself in “for his own safety” amid reports he is being hunted by groups of people.
Kadian Nelson, 26, is wanted in connection with an attack on a teenage girl in south-west London.
The Met Police, which earlier released an image of Mr Nelson, appealed for him to come forward.
Det Supt Owain Richards also urged those “attending various addresses” in a bid to find him to “go home”.
“Do not try to take the law into your own hands or you may end up doing something you regret and potentially face police action yourself,” he said.
Officers said the victim was reportedly assaulted shortly after 07:00 GMT near North Place, Colliers Wood.
Video shared on social media appears to show a girl being approached from behind before being forced into a side street by a man.
No arrests have been made.
Det Supt Richards said he recognised the attack was “shocking and distressing and emotions locally are running very high”.
But he urged the public to “allow us to do our jobs”.
“It is imperative that we follow the right processes as we investigate this incident as any interference could potentially affect proceedings further down the line.” he said.
A Section 60 stop and search order has been authorised for Merton and Wandsworth areas.
People have been warned to not share information via social media which could identify the girl or affect any future proceedings.