Police try to identify man found dead on Portsdown Hill

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Police are trying to identify a man whose body was found on Portsdown Hill.

They say they are keeping an open mind about what caused his death.

Police officer on patrol at the cordon at Candy's Pit, on Portsdown Hill

Police officer on patrol at the cordon at Candy's Pit, on Portsdown Hill

A member of the public discovered the body at Candy’s Pit, a chalk quarry on Portsdown Hill that is now a beauty spot popular with walkers.

Officers cordoned off an area from London Road, near The George Inn, to Portsdown Hill Road following the call shortly before 3pm yesterday.

Police carried out an examination of the scene and the body of a man was taken away.

The circumstances surrounding the death are being investigated.

The area is not far from the viewpoint near the Churchillian pub, but is quite secluded as it is heavily wooded. The chalk pit features caves and several sudden cliff drops.

James Pusey, a spokesman for Hampshire Constabulary, said police are trying to identify the man who was found.

He said: ‘Police were called to Portsdown Hill in Cosham shortly before 3pm following a call from a member of the public to say they had found a body.

‘Officers attended the scene and the body of a man was found.’

The cordon was removed by officers at about 4.30pm.

Last night officers said they were keeping an open mind about what happened.

Natalie Galloway, a police spokeswoman, added: ‘We are investigating all the circumstances.’

A bartender at The George Inn spoke of his shock about the incident.

Tom Sturgess, 20, said: ‘It’s quite unusual for this area.

‘It’s worrying because the locals live round this area and it would be worrying to think it could be someone they know.

‘It’s tragic.

‘There’s a cave and tunnels there and the cliff is easily accessible.’

Ellie Slater, 19, who was enjoying the views nearby, was stunned.

She said: ‘You don’t expect that sort of thing.

‘It’s frightening.’

Alan Thurbon, secretary of Friends of Portsdown Hill, said: ‘I know the kids tend to go there and look round and light bonfires.

‘It’s not generally used for much.

‘There’s a circular path where you can walk down from the top and back up again.

‘We have been trying to keep it clear so when you drive up the A3 you can get a view of the chalk face.

‘It’s a bit of a shock.’