A murder investigation has been launched after detailed ongoing enquiries have established a man’s death in Bournemouth is suspicious – with four people arrested.

Dorset Police received a report at 3.13pm on Friday 14 January 2022 from the ambulance service that a man had been found unresponsive in an alleyway at the end of Shelbourne Road.

Officers attended with the ambulance service and very sadly the man, aged in his 50s, was pronounced dead at the scene. His next of kin was informed and the coroner notified.

Initial enquiries indicated the cause of death was not believed to be suspicious. However, detectives subsequently carried out further investigative work that indicated reported suspicious circumstances linked to the man’s death, including the use of his bank cards after he sadly died. A public appeal asking for information relating to activity in the area of the alleyway was issued on Monday 24 January 2022. 

As a result of this investigation, a forensic post-mortem examination was carried out on Wednesday 26 January 2022. This concluded that the man had reportedly come to harm and died as a result of injuries sustained. His cause of death will be issued by HM Coroner in due course.

Detective Superintendent Gavin Dudfield, of Dorset Police, said: “Our thoughts remain with the man’s family at this very difficult time, and they have been updated with this latest development.

“Following the conclusion of the post-mortem examination, detectives from the Major Crime Investigation Team have launched a murder investigation.

“On the night of Wednesday 26 January and early hours of Thursday 27 January 2022 detectives have made a number of arrests. Three Bournemouth men – one aged 28 and two aged 30 – have been arrested on suspicion of murder and robbery and a 27-year-old local woman has been arrested on suspicion of fraud by false representation. All four remain in police custody.

“As part of our early investigations we have identified a specific window of time when we believe this incident is reported to have taken place. I am therefore appealing to anyone who may have witnessed any suspicious activity in the area of the alleyway, which runs alongside the A338 Wessex Way between Shelbourne Road and Malmesbury Park Road, between 2.50pm and 3.05pm on Friday 14 January 2022.

“I am also keen to hear from anyone who may have captured people walking toward the alleyway or running away from the scene during this time on home CCTV systems or dashcam.

“I understand this incident will be of concern to residents and officers from the local neighbourhood policing team will be carrying out patrols in the area over the coming days and can be approached by anyone with concerns.”

Anyone with information, images or footage relevant to the investigation to submit it via the UK Police Major Incident Public Portal at https://mipp.police.uk/operation/55HQ21M76-PO1.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk/do-it/online, via email [email protected] or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55220007070. Alternatively, to stay 100 per cent anonymous, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers online at Crimestoppers-uk.org or call Freephone 0800 555 111.

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