A rough sleeper who died on Hove seafront last night was the victim of a "vicious attack", police have said.

The body of a man was discovered by volunteers from a homeless project next to the pitch and putt near the Western Esplanade at around 8.30pm (February 11).

The victim, thought to be in his 40s, had suffered a severe head injury.

Specialist search teams are continuing to search for clues this evening (February 12) to find out who is responsible for the brutal attack.

Police in diving gear have today been searching Hove Lagoon for evidence.

The workers who found the body were from Project Antifreeze, a Brighton and Hove-based homeless charity, which is part of Off The Fence.

But the police have said it is "not exactly clear" when the man received the severe injuries to his head.

He was sleeping rough in an alcove in the pitch and putt area of Hove.

Detective Chief Inspector, Ian Pollard, who is the leading the investigation said: "This was a vicious attack, the motive of which is not yet known nor how the deceased's injuries were inflicted. 

"I know the street community are very close knit - but I would appeal to them to please get in touch if they have any information that could help us with our enquiries no matter how relevant they think it is. 

"Many of the street community personally know Sergeant Richard Siggs, from the Neighbourhood Police Team, who is currently out with officers making local enquiries and liaising with the relevant partner agencies.

"A cordon will remain for several hours around the crime scene along with a scene guard.

"I would like to thank local residents for their understanding and patience and would urge them to approach any of our officers if they have any concerns."

He later added: "We have a dedicated team of officers assigned to this investigation and we will not stop until we find the person or persons responsible for this brutal attack.

"I would appeal to anyone who has information and has not yet come forward to please do so as a matter of urgency.

"I would also like to thank those members of the street community and partner agencies for their support and help with the investigation to date.

"Brighton and Hove has a visible street community but one that local officers such as Sergeant Richard Siggs, regularly liaises with.

"I'm confident that if someone from that community can help us solve this terrible crime, they will."

Anyone who witnessed the attack or has any information that could assist police with their enquiries are asked to call 101 quoting Op Depot or alternatively leave an anonymous message with the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.