A RAPE investigation has been launched after a woman was attacked in Swanage.

Police have appealed for help in tracing an offender who assaulted his victim on an area of grass in Hillview Road.

The attack took place at around 4am on Sunday October 21 when a local woman, aged in her 20s, was in the company of a man she had met earlier in Bar One in the High Street.

The offender is described as white, aged in his 20s and of medium build with short light hair that is longer on top and a beard. He is believed to have been wearing green or khaki-coloured trousers and T-shirt and possibly had a tattoo sleeve on his right arm.

Detective Inspector Andrea Power, of Dorset Police, said: "The victim is being supported by specially-trained officers at this time and I would like to reassure members of the public that we are carrying out a full investigation into this incident.

"I am asking anyone with information or who saw or heard anything suspicious in the area of Hillview Road around the relevant time to contact us."

She said anyone with concerns should speak to members of the neighbourhood policing team.

Information to police on 101, quoting occurrence number 55180170404 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.