Witness appeal after Fareham rape incident

POLICE have released an urgent appeal for witnesses and information after a 22-year-old woman reported she was raped near the centre of Fareham this weekend.

The alleged incident happened sometime between 1.30am and 2.45am on Saturday morning (March 19) as the woman reportingly walked along West Street in Fareham.

A man, unknown to the woman, started following and threatening her before attacking her in the area of a footbridge that goes over Western Way, close to Fareham train station.

The man is described as being white, approximately five foot 11 inches tall and with a slim build. He also had a full beard that was blond / grey in colour and was late 20s / early 30s in age.

Having been reported to police, an investigation is now underway and the woman is currently being supported by specially trained officers at this time. Officers have also carried out regular patrols in the area over the last two days in response to the incident.

Detective Constable Steve Finnis from Hampshire Constabulary’s Operation Amberstone team said on Saturday afternoon: “Officers are carrying out extensive enquiries to ascertain the exact circumstances and we would like to appeal to anyone who was in the vicinity in the early hours this morning to get in touch.”

He continued: “Were you in the area this morning between 1.30am and 2.45am? Did you see anything suspicious or anyone matching the description above? Perhaps you have CCTV or were driving in the area at the time and have dash-cam footage?”

“Officers from Fareham’s Neighbourhood Policing Team will be carrying out increased patrols in the area. If you have any concerns or information, please don’t hesitate to speak to them.”

Anyone with information, no matter how small or insignificant it might be, are being asked to contact police by calling 101 or report online, quoting reference number 44220109191.

Alternatively those with potential crucial information can report anonymously via Crimestoppers, an independent charity that gives people the power to speak up and stop crime. This can be done by visiting their website or by calling 0800 555 111.