POLICE have been visiting university students in Bournemouth to remind them not to walk home alone following a vicious late-night sexual assault in the town.

A terrified 20-year-old woman was attacked by a man as she walked through a subway, which links Holdenhurst Road with the travel interchange and town centre, at around 1.30am on Friday.

The victim, who is a student in the town, was unexpectedly grabbed from behind by an unknown man and attacked.

She had been out with friends at the Old Fire Station and was walking to get a bus home.

Bournemouth Inspector Dean O’Connor said officers have this week been visiting student accommodation to hand leaflets out promoting their successful Operation Protect initiative.

And yesterday Safer Neighbourhood officers met with Bournemouth University and the Students Union to raise awareness of their safety message.

The hard-hitting campaign, which features a yellow triangle, aims to reduce the number of alcohol-related rapes and sexual assaults in Bournemouth by encouraging people to reduce their chances of becoming a victim of crime.

Police urge revellers to stick with their friends, look after each other, get a licensed taxi or bus home, not to walk home alone or with someone they have only just met and not to get so drunk it affects their judgement.

Insp O’Connor said: “We would like to remind women not to walk home alone following a night out or after work and ask friends to stick together to ensure everyone gets home safely.”

Following the incident police released a CCTV image of a man they would like to speak to.

Detective Inspector Becky Riggs, of Bournemouth CID, said: “This unprovoked attack left the victim very shaken and frightened “I would urge the man pictured, and anyone who recognises him, to contact me in confidence as soon as possible.”

To date no arrests have been made.

Anyone with information should call police on 101 quoting incident number 01:20 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.