Police search cliffs after fatal beach stabbing

A group of officers abseiling down the green sloping cliffs while a uniformed officer stands guard at the bottom
Search teams on ropes scour the cliffs for evidence [BBC]

Officers are carrying out cliffside searches as part of a murder investigation into the death of a woman on Bournemouth beach.

Flowers have also been left on the beach at the scene where Amie Gray was fatally stabbed on Friday.

Ms Gray, a 34-year-old personal trainer from Poole, died at the scene on Durley Chine Beach shortly before midnight.

Another woman, aged 38, was seriously injured and remains in hospital.

A cordon put in place along the promenade has now been lifted but searches continue.

On Tuesday morning, search teams could be seen lowering themselves down the cliff on ropes, hacking back undergrowth.

On Sunday, police issued CCTV images of a man they want to speak to in a bid to prompt witnesses to come forward.

Flowers and tributes left on the beach, with Bournemouth pier in the background
Flowers have been left at the scene of the stabbing [BBC]

A 17-year-old boy from Lancashire who was arrested on suspicion of murder following the stabbing has since been eliminated from enquiries.

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner David Sidwick said: “The death of the woman on Bournemouth beach is a tragedy, and my thoughts and condolences are with her family, friends, and loved ones.

“I know Dorset Police are working relentlessly to ensure the person responsible is brought to justice.”

At the scene

A rain spattered envelope with the name “Amie” written on it is tucked underneath bouquets of flowers on Bournemouth beach front. Some holiday makers pause to look twice.

The police search of the sands finished on Monday. The beach reopened on Tuesday morning but searches on the cliffs continued all day.

I watched as a small team of police wearing white helmets used ropes to lower themselves down the steep slope, hacking at undergrowth in their search for evidence.

People I spoke to were worried by the stabbings. One woman told me she felt unsafe in the area. Dorset has one of the lowest rates of knife crime in the country but there has been an increase in incidents.

A visitor said they felt reassured by an increased police presence but another man said: “It’s important to see more police but it’s a bit late now.”

'Isolated incident'

Bournemouth resident Carolyn Thomas said people were "scared".

"You don’t feel safe anymore in your own area. I’m very shocked," she said.

"There’s a lot of drug taking going on down here, I’ve heard."

Another resident, Andy Jones, said it was a "shock" as the area was was "quite peaceful".

"The police are quite happy to talk to everybody so that’s reassurance in itself,” he added.

Paul and Sue from South Derbyshire, who are regular visitors to Bournemouth, described the event as "disturbing” but said the news had not made them change their plans.

“The police gave the assurance that it was an isolated incident," Paul said.

"We were still going to come down and visit Bournemouth.”

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