London's Metropolitan Police says it has "received a report of a sexual assault" amid allegations directed at the comedian Russell Brand.

The 48-year-old was the subject of an investigation by the Sunday Times and Channel 4's Dispatches into alleged historic sex crimes, which he denies.

Several women came forward to accuse Mr Brand of offences including rape and sexual assault between 2006 and 2013.

The Met Police has now released a statement saying that, in the wake of the reporting, it has received a complaint from an unnamed woman alleging a sexual offence which took place in London in 2003.

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Mr Brand, who denies any wrongdoing, is not named in the statement though it states that the report was made in the wake of the reporting on him.

A Met Police spokesman said: “We are aware of reporting by The Sunday Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches about allegations of sexual offences.

“On Sunday, 17 September, the Met received a report of a sexual assault which was alleged to have taken place in Soho in central London in 2003. Officers are in contact with the woman and will be providing her with support.

“We first spoke with The Sunday Times on Saturday, 16 September and have since made further approaches to The Sunday Times and Channel 4 to ensure that anyone who believes they have been the victim of a sexual offence is aware of how to report this to the police.

“We continue to encourage anyone who believes they may have been a victim of a sexual offence, no matter how long ago it was, to contact us.”

With increased focus on the issue of sexual assault, Police Scotland made clear anyone who feels they have been a victim can come forward regardless of the passage of time.

A statement said: "We are aware of media reporting of a series of allegations of sexual assault.

"If anyone believes they have been the victim of a sexual assault, no matter how much time has passed, we would encourage them to contact police."