ANOTHER appeal for information has been launched after a cyclist was raped in an alleyway in Shirley, in Southampton.

The woman was riding her bike on Howards Grove when she was approached by another man on a mountain bike wearing a black record style bag.

The man, described as being in his early 20s, white and having a local accent, then raped the woman in the alleyway behind Guys and Dolls Tattoo and Piercing Studio.

Hampshire Constabulary say the man then cycled on his bike past shop Iceland, on Shirley High Street, towards Millbrook.

They also believe he came from that direction.

Senior investigation officer Matt Barcraft-Barnes said the investigation is still active and police are following up all available lines of enquiry.

He added: "I would like to hear from anyone who saw a man matching this description in the Shirley area in the early hours of Sunday morning, or anyone who knows someone matching this description.

"It’s important to remember to stay safe when you are travelling through the city at night. Avoid walking on you own, plan your journey home and consider booking a taxi or getting a lift with a friend. Look out for each other and report anyone suspicious to 999.

"Officers from the Southampton West Neighbourhood Police team continue to patrol the area. If you’re concerned or have information for us, please do approach them."

The sexual assault took place at around 1.30am on Sunday, June 3.

A 24-year-old man was arrested soon after the offence. He was questioned by officers and has since been released from police custody.

Police initially appealed to find three people who helped the woman following the offence.

They were traced on Monday, June 4 and officers interviewed them.

Residents nearby said they heard the police at the scene, but officers could not confirm what had happened at the time.

On hearing of the incident, Shirley ward councillor Satvir Kaur said: "I’d encourage anyone with information to contact the police to help them with their investigations.

"Shirley, traditionally, is a very safe area though it is important for residents to remain vigilant.

"I’ll continue to work with local police to ensure our communities are safe wherever they are."