The Metropolitan Police has said it has received multiple reports of offences after reviewing a website featuring anonymous submissions of "misogyny, harassment, abuse and assault". Scotland Yard said it has reviewed testimonies on the Everyone's Invited website, a site where people can anonymously share their experiences of abuse.
It said officers have been establishing whether any potential victims in London could be encouraged to report crimes, with several people coming forward.
A link is also now available on the website to directly report crimes to Scotland Yard. It comes after a number of independent schools in the country have been accused of failing to deal with complaints about a "rape culture", with many testimonies shared on Everyone's Invited.
Highgate School, a north London private school, announced it would be launching an independent review into issues raised. A school spokesperson said: "We are horrified and deeply shocked by the testimonies on 'Everyone's Invited' and elsewhere. "The governing body have appointed The Rt Hon Dame Anne Rafferty to lead the independent review into the issues raised by the testimonies."
The Metropolitan Police said where schools had been named on the website, officers have been making contact with them to offer specialist support to any potential victims. Scotland Yard's rape and sexual offences lead Detective Superintendent Mel Laremore said more than 100 schools are cited on the "Everyone's Invited" website.
She told BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Saturday it is a "national issue", adding: "I think it's more widespread than private schools. I think we're still looking into the exact scope of how wide this is spread but certainly I know there's already over 100 schools cited on the website which do reach out to national parameters.
"The private school element of this is a factor, in that certainly for us as the Metropolitan Police we have a safer schools officers and a safer schools network, we have identified ourselves that there isn't a safer schools network within the private schools."
On Friday, the Met began a series of meetings to determine the force's response to the accounts on the site and the wider issues.
DS Laremore added: "We welcome any initiative which encourages any victim-survivor of a sexual offence to speak out and seek support.
"It is deeply concerning to see the number of accounts published on this website, many of which appear to relate to previous or current experiences within educational settings in London and across the country."We take all allegations of sexual assault very seriously. We understand the complex and varied reasons why many victim-survivors do not contact law enforcement, but I want to personally reassure anyone who needs our help that we are absolutely here for you."
She added: "It's apparent some of the incidents referred to on this website may have occurred some years ago. Regardless of how long ago an offence took place, I would like to remind any victim-survivor that support is available for you should you wish to speak to us."