A PAVING slab was thrown at the window of a leading Southampton councillor in what is believed to be a targeted attack.

The attacker threw the slab at the window of the home where a young child was playing inside.

It is thought to have been a deliberate attack on the property of the elected member of Southampton City Council.

As a result the authority has issued advice to all councillors and has said they can opt out of having their addresses made public.

Council correspondence seen by the Daily Echo revealed the attack was motivated because of the councillor’s position.

An email said: “A councillor had a paving slab thrown through the window of a house smashing the windows to a living room.

“Fortunately no one was hurt but the perpetrator made it clear that the action was because of the councillor’s role. Whilst this email is in no way meant to cause alarm to anyone it was felt that you needed to be made aware that this type of incident had happened.

“If you have any reason to be concerned then please let Member Services know and we shall try to assist where possible.”

The incident is now being investigated by Hampshire police.

The news has sent shockwaves through the council and comes as security surrounding politicians is already heightened.

The councillor, who is not being identified, declined to comment on the attack.

Labour MP for Batley and Spen Jo Cox was killed in June on her way to a surgery in her constituency, and in July Labour MP Angela Eagle’s office was damaged by a brick. Earlier this week Wakefield Labour MP’s Mary Creagh constituency office was also targeted.

Leader of Southampton City Council Simon Letts, pictured below, described the attack as a “disgraceful act”, and said as a result councillors could now opt to remove their addresses from the public.

Cllr Letts said: “It is a crying shame that an elected servant suffers this event happening to them, particularly when a small child was in the room when the paving slab was thrown.

“It is a disgraceful act, when you throw a paving slab through a window you have no idea who is on the other side, we could be looking at a murder investigation here.

“I hoped after the Jo Cox incident there would be a pause for thought in the way we treat each other, but I guess that has not happened.”

Asked whether removing a councillor’s address from the public could be seen as an affront to open democracy, Cllr Letts said having addresses on show publicly was not vital.

Cllr Letts said: “I think people have the right to be able to contact their councillors and in all my 16 years of being a councillor I have only ever had people knocking my door to contact me twice.”

Police confirmed they were treating the incident, which happened on September 8 at around 7.35pm, as criminal damage.

A spokeswoman for Hampshire Constabulary said a white man was seen running away from the scene. He was described as in his late teens, about 6ft, with black hair and of slim build. He was wearing beige chino-type shorts, trainers, a white polo shirt with turquoise stripes around the chest area and he was carrying a white jumper in his left hand. Anyone with information should call Hampshire police on 101.