An arrest has been made after an attack on a young woman left her in a serious condition in a London hospital.
This evening, police confirmed they had made an arrest after being called to Highsted Road, Sittingbourne, shortly before 8am today to reports the victim had suffered injuries, the nature of which are yet to be confirmed.
The air ambulance leaving Eden Village estate
A police spokesman said: "An arrest has been made after a young woman was seriously assaulted in Sittingbourne.
"Police were called to a field off Highsted Road, near the junction with Swanstree Avenue, after being informed the victim had been found with serious injuries.
"She was taken to a London hospital, where she remains in a serious condition.
"The suspect has been taken into custody."
The spokesman, who could not confirm any further details about the person arrested, said people would see an increased police presence in the area while inquiries at the scene continue.
He added: "Officers are keen to hear from anyone who may have information, especially those who were walking in the area overnight and in the morning.
"They are also keen to hear from anyone who owns CCTV, or dash camera footage, recorded in the vicinity."
This afternoon, five police cars and a forensic van were seen in Highsted Road.
Almost 12 hours on from when police were called, it remains closed from the junction with Cromers Road to Chilton Manor Farm and officers are blocking every footpath leading to fields and orchards off large sections of Swanstree Avenue and Highsted Road.
The air ambulance was sent to the Eden Village housing estate, which is off Highsted Road, along with police and ambulance crews, this morning.
Three police officers and paramedics were seen treating the patient on a pathway in Rose Walk at about 9.30am, before she was subsequently stretchered into the waiting helicopter.
Neighbours reported seeing armed officers at the bottom of the estate before 8am, stopping people from entering unless they lived there.
One man also reported seeing an unmarked BMW police car "screaming" up the estate at about 7.50am.
Meanwhile, neighbours in Highsted Road said they heard sirens at around 3am today but it is not yet known whether this was connected to the assault.
One woman said the incident is believed to have happened in orchards near Chilton Manor Farm – where, she said, officers remained.
A spokesman for the ambulance service confirmed the woman had been airlifted to a London hospital in a serious condition.
Anyone with information should call police on 01474 366149, quoting the reference 22-0255.
Alternatively, to remain anonymous, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or complete the online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.