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Forensic officers are searching a footpath and stream following an attempted sexual assault.

It happened at 11.30pm last night close to Old Copse Road, off Crossland Drive, in Havant.

A large parkland area off Old Copse Road and River Way has been cordoned off

A large parkland area off Old Copse Road and River Way has been cordoned off

The female victim managed to get away before the attack took place.

The area has been cordoned off by police and officers are searching the area.

The 33-year-old victim who was travelling back from London on a train arrived at Havant Station at 11.15pm.

She then walked to where she had parked her car on Crosslands Drive. As the victim crossed River Way using a footpath from Lavant Drive she became aware of someone walking behind her.

A man she did not know grabbed her and pulled her into nearby bushes. He tried to sexually assault her, but she fought him off and he ran off towards Lavant Drive. The victim was not injured during the incident.

She described the man as white, around 5ft 10ins and skinny. He was wearing white Converse-style trainers.

He had his face covered.

Detective Inspector Linda Howard said: ‘We are carrying out forensic enquiries in the Crosslands Drive area this morning as part of our investigation. I’m especially keen to hear from anyone who was on the same train as the victim and who got off at Havant. They may have seen the man believed to have been involved in the area.’

‘We have not received any similar reports in Havant and I’m not linking this report to any other investigations at the current time. Havant is a very safe place in which to live and work, but I’d like to remind people to observe general common sense afvice such as walking through well lit areas, where possible, at night. We will be patrolling this area of Havant over the next few days in order to speak to local residents and answer any questions they may have.’

Anyone who got off the same train at Havant or saw what happened should contact DC Julie Way at Fratton police station on 101 quoting 44160031770, or via the website: hampshire.police.uk/internet/do-it-online/online-forms/message-for-officer.html

You can also call the charity Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111 where information can be left anonymously.