A man is due to appear in court in connection with the rape of a teenage boy on Bournemouth seafront.

Dorset Police was called at 2.41pm on Saturday 7 May 2022 to reports that a 14-year-old boy had been raped by a man in the public toilets at Bournemouth Pier sometime between 8.30am and 8.45am.

An investigation was launched by detectives from Bournemouth CID and, following detailed enquiries, a 51-year-old man from Bournemouth was arrested on Monday 9 May 2022 on suspicion of rape.

Detective Chief Inspector Ross Graham, of Bournemouth CID, said: “Following a fast-paced investigation and consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service, we have been given authority to charge a 51-year-old man from Bournemouth with rape and he is due to appear at Poole Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday 11 May 2022.

“Specially trained officers are continuing to provide support to the boy and his family, and they have been updated with this latest development.

“Our investigation into this reported offence remains ongoing and I would urge any witnesses or anyone with information to please contact Dorset Police.

“This matter is now subject to a court process, and it would therefore be entirely inappropriate for Dorset Police to comment further at this time. It is important that the justice system is allowed to follow its course.

“I would like to remind the public that this matter is now the subject of active court proceedings, and it is important to stress that there should be no commentary or sharing of information online or on social media that could potentially prejudice these proceedings.”

Neighbourhood Chief Inspector Darren Harris, of the BCP Local Policing Area, said: “We understand this reported offence will cause great concern to members of the public. Officers from the local neighbourhood policing team will be carrying out enhanced patrols over the coming week and can be approached with any concerns.

“We are continuing to work collaboratively with BCP Council and other partner agencies to ensure we have an increased visible presence along the seafront and these efforts will continue throughout the rest of the spring and summer.

“Police officers, police community support officers, Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS) officers and council staff can be approached by members of the public with any concerns. RNLI lifeguards and staff can also be approached, with their beach towers serving as a safe place to address concerns or seek further help.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk/contact, via email [email protected] or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55220072272. Alternatively, independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously online at Crimestoppers-uk.org or by calling Freephone 0800 555 111.

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