Police investigating the discovery of a torso on a beach have arrested a man.

The 46-year-old, from the Portsmouth area was arrested last night by Hampshire Constabulary's major investigation team. He is currently in police custody.

The arrest comes following the discovery of a body without head, arms and legs wrapped in a black bin liner by a group of foreign students in front of the Pyramids at Southsea, Portsmouth, Hampshire, at 5.30pm on Tuesday.

A post-mortem examination carried out on Wednesday was unable to determine an exact cause of death, but a police spokeswoman said the victim had been "subjected to a sustained and violent assault prior to his death".

The body has now been identified and officers are working to inform the next of kin.

Detective Chief Inspector Dick Pearson said: "This is a significant development in the investigation but there is still a lot of work to do.

"We continue to appeal to the community to contact us with any information which could assist us, particularly any suspicious activity or people on the seafront.

"Members of the community who are in the area regularly will know if something or someone is out of place, or notice unusual behaviour. Please report it to us.

"We are also appealing to anyone who notices suspicious packages, possibly wrapped in black bin liners, in the area.

"As we have confirmed, at this stage only a torso has been discovered.

"Other body parts or items linked to the murder may have been discarded in the area.

"If you notice a suspicious package that may be linked to this inquiry do not open it but contact police immediately."

Officers from the local Safer Neighbourhoods team are conducting reassurance patrols in the area where the torso was discovered.

Anyone with information that could help the investigation is asked to contact the eastern area major investigation team on 101, quoting Operation Nimbus, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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