Police have ended a rape investigation after saying no offences have been committed.

A major investigation was launched earlier this week after police received a report that an 18-year-old woman had been raped between 10.30am and 11.30am by an unknown man in a wooded area off a country lane near Wool.

A 51-year-old Bournemouth man was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of rape and was released under investigation while enquiries continued.

The investigation was was led by detectives from Dorset Police’s Major Crime Investigation Team.

Detective Inspector Mark Jenkins said: "Following our enquiries, which have involved speaking to the woman, the arrested man and witnesses, we have established that the man and the woman were known to each other and that no offences were committed. "As a result the 51-year-old man who was arrested will face no further police action and has been released without charge.

“Specially-trained officers are continuing to liaise with the woman and will ensure she is given access to receive the appropriate support.

“I appreciate this incident will have caused significant concern in the community and I would like to reassure them that we will always investigate such reports thoroughly and sensitively.

“I would also like to thank those members of public who contacted us following our public appeal and provided us with very important information.

“Finally, I would like to reiterate that any victims of sexual assault will be treated with respect and dignity. If you have been a victim of a sexual offence do not suffer in silence, come forward and report it to the police. We will thoroughly investigate such offences, we will safeguard victims and we will bring offenders to justice.”

There are a range of charities set up to help victims:

  • Dorset Rape Crisis – 01202 308855 (helpline) www.dorsetrapecrisis.org

  • Offers practical and emotional support to anyone who has been raped, sexually abused or exploited.

  • Over the Rainbow 01202 257478 www.rainbowbournemouth.co.uk

  • Advice, support and information for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people and communities in Dorset, including sexual health screening.

  • The Shores Dorset SARC 01202 552056 www.the-shores.org.uk

  • Freephone 24 hour National Domestic Violence Helpline 0808 2000 247 www.nationaldomesticviolencehelpline.org.uk

  • Dorset For You www.dorsetforyou.com/dvahelp