Published: 11:13, 23 July 2021
| Updated: 17:38, 23 July 2021
A 16-year-old boy remains in police custody and police continue to carry out a major search operation after an attack on a teenage girl left her in a serious condition in a London hospital.
Shortly before 8am yesterday, officers were called to a field off Highsted Road in Sittingbourne, near the junction with Swanstree Avenue, after being informed the victim – a 16-year-old girl – had been found with serious injuries consistent with stab wounds.
Police investigating the assault on a 16-year-old girl in Sittingbourne
She was treated on a path in Rose Walk by paramedics, before being airlifted to a London hospital, where she remains in a serious condition.
Yesterday evening, police confirmed they had made an arrest. The boy and girl are known to each other.
Officers are keen to hear from anyone who may have information, especially those who were walking in the area between 11pm on Wednesday and 3am on Thursday. They are also keen to hear from anyone who owns CCTV, or dash camera footage, recorded in the vicinity.
Detective Chief Inspector Neil Kimber said: "We are still appealing for the public to come forward with any information they may have which can assist in this investigation.
"We are keen to piece together the victim's last known movements and would urge anyone who has any information to make contact."
The force said members of the public would continue to see an increased presence in the area while enquiries at the scene take place.
Door-to-door enquiries are said to have been going on until 11pm last night and neighbours said questions asked included whether anyone had seen or heard anything since 9pm the night before, whether a teenage boy had been seen carrying a smaller teenage girl, or whether anyone saw anything in the morning before police arrived.
This morning, six police cars remain in Highsted Road.
More than 24 hours after police were called, it is still closed from the junction with Cromers Road to near Chilton Manor Farm, and officers are blocking every footpath leading to fields and orchards off large sections of Swanstree Avenue and Highsted Road.
Officers are still in the fields on one side of Highsted Road and a children's play area opposite in the neighbouring Eden Village housing estate has been cordoned off. Police dogs are also being used as part of the investigation.
The air ambulance was sent to the Eden Village housing estate, which is off Highsted Road, along with police and ambulance crews, yesterday 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.
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