Police have released a photograph of a person they would like to speak to in connection with reports of a man masturbating on a busy commuter train.

The incident is alleged to have taken place on 7 January on the Cardiff to Ystrad Rhondda train and the suspect is also accused of harassing a 24-year-old woman.

Detective Inspector Mark Cleland, who is leading the British Transport Police investigation, said: “During the course of the journey, she was subjected to lewd behaviour by a male passenger, who later performed an indecent act on himself.

man masturbating on a train

British Transport Police want to speak to this man in relation to the incident

“This was, quite understandably, a traumatic and extremely upsetting experience for the victim.”

The man officers would like to speak to in connection with the incident is described as white, in his late 20s to early 30s, around 5ft 6in, of stocky build and a rugged appearance.

He has a black tribal tattoo on his left forearm and was wearing black jogging bottoms, a navy shirt over a white T-shirt, and a grey and black bobble hat with earflaps. He was also carrying a newspaper.

“We are anxious to speak to this person, who was on the 1706hrs Cardiff Central to Treherbert train on Tuesday, as we believe he may have key information that could assist us with our enquiries,” said DI Clelend.

“We believe he got off the service at Treorchy, and I would ask anyone who recognises him, or who may have any information about the incident, to please come forward and talk to us as a matter of urgency. Your information could be vital to this investigation.

“Fortunately incidents such as this are rare on the rail network, but are always treated extremely seriously. I am now calling on the public to help bring this individual to justice.”

Anyone with information should contact British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40quoting background reference WCA/B5 of 10/01/2014. Information can also be passed to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.