Police release e-fit after girl, 15, raped in sea in front of Bournemouth beachgoers

5 August 2021, 16:42

Police have issued an e-fit in their hunt for a suspect who raped a girl in the sea off Bournemouth beach
Police have issued an e-fit in their hunt for a suspect who raped a girl in the sea off Bournemouth beach. Picture: Dorset Police/Alamy

By Asher McShane

Police hunting for a teenager who raped a girl in the sea in front of holidaymakers on one of the hottest days of the year have issued an e-fit of a suspect.

The 15-year-old victim was playing ball in the sea with friends off Bournemouth beach on Sunday July 18 when the attack occurred.

After speaking to the victim, he lured her into deeper water before raping her as thousands of visitors swam nearby.

Dorset police said he told the victim he was 17 and was travelling to Birmingham. Police believe the attacker is from the city.

Police described the attacker as having tanned skin and possibly being of Pakistani descent, between 5ft and 5ft 7in tall and of a 'thin but muscular build with short dark hair that looked freshly trimmed'.

He was wearing black or grey swimming shorts.

Detective Inspector Wayne Seymour, of MCIT, said: “The victim is continuing to be supported by officers and we have been carrying out a large number of enquiries into this incident.

“As part of our investigation we have obtained forensic evidence that means we will be able to eliminate anyone who was not involved from our enquiries.

“We have now obtained an e-fit image of the suspect and I would urge anyone who recognises him to please get in touch.

“We have also received a number of reports of young Asian men approaching female beachgoers on the date of the incident, some of whom may have exchanged messages on Snapchat.

"I would urge anyone who has exchanged Snapchat messages with someone who approached them on the beach that day to please make contact with us as it may assist our investigation.

“In addition I would like to renew our appeal to anyone who was on the beach in the vicinity of the Oceanarium to check any photographs or video footage taken to see if they have captured anything of relevance.”

Neighbourhood Inspector Darren Harris, of Bournemouth police, said: “I understand this incident will have caused concern for the wider community. We continue to work collaboratively with BCP Council and other partner agencies to step up patrols along the seafront and these efforts will continue throughout the summer.

“Police Officers, Police Community Support Officers, Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS) Officers, Council staff and the RNLI will have a visible presence on the seafront and can be approached by members of the public with any concerns.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police online, via email at 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55210115587.

Alternatively, people can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously online or call 0800 555 111.