Eight men from east London and Hertfordshire have been arrested on suspicion of raping a girl under the age of 16.

The Met arrested the men this morning at addresses in the east London boroughs of Newham, Redbridge and Havering, and one address in Hertfordshire.

Police launched an investigation following an allegation relating to offences that took place between May and November last year.

Five of the men are aged 23, two are aged 24 and one is 21 years old. All are currently in custody in an east London police station.

As well as the arrests, police also seized a quantity of cash and drugs from two separate addresses in Newham.

A 26-year-old man and two women, both aged 47, were arrested on suspicion of fraud as part of the investigation.

Detective chief inspector Adam Lowe said: "These arrests are part of an investigation into rape and serious sexual assault carried out by a group of men in Newham and the wider east London area. Our enquiries continue.

"I would urge anyone who has been a victim of this type of offence or who believes they have any information to please contact police on 020 8217 6531, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."