POLICE have launched a murder investigation following the discovery of a torso on the beach in Southsea.
Officers were called to the beach in front of The Pyramids, Southsea shortly before 5.30pm on Tuesday after members of the public located the torso wrapped in a black bin liner.
An area of the beach remains cordoned off today to allow police to conduct enquiries.
Detective Chief Inspector Dick Pearson of the Hampshire Constabulary Major Investigation team said: ‘Our enquiries today are focusing on identifying the body, which we believe to be male, and how it came to be on the beach, including the possibility that it may have washed up with the tide.
‘The torso was discovered by a group of foreign students between 5 and 5.30pm who alerted some nearby workmen. Police were contacted shortly afterwards. As a result of earlier media appeals we have now identified some of the group of students who are currently speaking with officers.
‘It may be that the torso wrapped in a black bin liner had been on the beach some hours before it was discovered. We are keen to speak to anyone who may have seen it on the beach, noticed any suspicious activity in the Clarence Parade area, or has any other information which could assist our investigation to contact us.
‘We are aware that the area was busy yesterday afternoon and evening with a number of people on the promenade between South Parade Pier and the Blue Reef Aquarium watching the P&O ships and other local events. We would like to speak to these spectators if they have specific information which could be of interest to us. ‘
A Home Office post mortem examination is scheduled for 2pm this afternoon.
The local Safer Neighbourhoods team is conducting high visibility patrols in the area for the next few days to provide reassurance to the community. The community bus is also on the seafront for anyone in the area to speak to local officers if they have any information or concerns. Alternatively the Safer Neighbourhoods team can be contacted at Southsea police station on 101.
Anyone who may be able to assist the investigation team should contact the Eastern Area Major Investigation team on 101, quoting Operation Nimbus. Mini-Com users can call the police on 01962 875000. Information can be given anonymously by calling the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.