POLICE have today stepped up their hunt for rapist who attacked a woman after driving her to a Southampton park and subjecting her to a terrifying ordeal.

Detectives are searching for a blue or silver BMW car after the 26-year-old victim was assaulted in Lakelands Park, Freemantle.

Police sealed off part of Lakelands – also known as Freemantle Lake Park – as forensics experts searched for clues.

It comes just months after an 11-year-old girl was grabbed by a man in the park as she walked home from school.

As reported in the Daily Echo the terrified youngster managed to break free from his grasp. She was chased out of Lakelands and into the street but escaped.

Police say they are not linking the two incidents.

Det Insp Jim Park, heading the investigation, described the rape as an isolated crime and urged people living in the Freemantle area not to be alarmed.

The woman has told police that she was attacked in the early hours of last Sunday.

Det Insp Park said: “Enquiries so far have established that she travelled there in a car from the Empress Road area of Southampton.

“We are appealing for anyone who saw a blue or silvercoloured convertible BMW car at either of those locations on Saturday night or Sunday morning.”

It is not known whether the victim was forced into the car or agreed to go voluntarily, or whether any type of weapon was used during the attack.

Ward councillor Jeremy Moulton said: “It sounds horrific and I hope the person responsible will soon be caught.

“Lakelands is a large facility that’s frequently used by families and dog walkers.

“It’s a generally safe park in a generally safe city but horrible incidents do occur from time to time.”

Call CID at Southampton Central police station on 101, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.