POLICE are appealing to the public to help trace a convicted rapist who is thought to be in Hampshire.

Officers have urged the public not to approach Leon Douglas who has gone missing from his home in Fareham where he had been under a curfew.

Investigations by police so far suggest the 41-year-old is still in Hampshire since he went missing in August, and is possibly in Portsmouth where he has friends.

Mr Douglas is described as: white, 6 ft 2ins, blue eyes, slim build with shaved or short dark brown hair tall that is balding on top.

Detective Inspector Joanne Smith of Hampshire Constabulary's Public Protection Department said: "Although there is no specific information to suggest a threat to anyone in particular living in the community at this time, we are clearly concerned that this man, who was convicted of rape, has not made contact with the authorities to update us on his whereabouts, as he is required to do under law.

"Our advice is that members of the public should not approach Leon Douglas if they see him. Any sightings should be reported to the police immediately by phoning 101 - or 999 if it's an emergency.

Witnesses or anyone with information are asked to contact the Public Protection Department at Havant Police Station by phoning 101. Mini-com users can phone 01962 875000. Information can be given anonymously by phoning the independent Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.