A member of the public called police at 4.11am to report that a woman was in the High Street apparently distressed.
Investigating officer Detective Constable Ron Smith said: ‘We believe the woman may have been the victim of a sexual assault, but she left the scene before officers arrived.
‘We are concerned about her welfare and urge her to contact us so we can establish if an offence took place.’
The woman, who was seen sitting in a doorway opposite the fire station, is described as being in her 20s and of a slim to medium build with wavy brown hair just below her shoulders. She was wearing a patterned dress and was barefoot, carrying a pair of high-heeled shoes.
If you witnessed a suspicious incident, recognise the description of the woman or have any information that could help officers with their enquiries please phone 01843 222289 quoting reference number 14-211.
Alternatively, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers in Kent anonymously on 0800 555111.
A 34-year-old Herne Bay man has been arrested on suspicion of sexual assault. He is currently in police custody.