A WOMAN is believed to have been raped by a stranger in Southend, police have said.

Essex Police are carrying out "extensive" enquiries into the incident that happened in the graveyard of St John's Church in Church Road on Thursday night.

The woman reported to have been attacked in the graveyard at around midnight.

A large cordon was in place around the site throughout the day on Friday.

Essex Police said this morning there is no information to suggest the victim and suspect are known to each other.


A spokesman said: "Detectives have been making extensive enquiries, including reviewing CCTV and speaking to residents.

"Anyone who was in the area of St John’s Church in Church Road at around midnight (12am) on Thursday July 15 is asked to contact police online at www.essex.police.uk, where you can also use the 'Live Chat' button to speak to an online operator between 7am-11pm.

"Alternatively, you can call 101."