CIVIC chiefs in Southampton are calling for more police officers to be deployed across the city.

This comes after a man was stabbed in the back at East Park in the city centre on Monday.

The incident sparked an attempted-murder investigation.

As previously reported, residents said they feared a stabbing spate – which has seen 27 people knifed in London over the past 12 months – was spreading across the country.

Southampton Itchen MP Royston Smith said the city would see an increase of 12 police officers from the 200 set to be deployed across the county.

“I hope this will give residents the reassurance they deserve,” he added.

But councillors in Southampton said it was not enough.

As previously reported, an extra 200 officers, 65 investigators and an unconfirmed amount of PCSOs are set to be deployed across the county as more than £16 million will be raised for Hampshire’s police force.

This comes after civic chiefs unanimously voted through plans to increase the county’s precept tax.

At the time Cllr Dave Shields, cabinet member for health and community safety at Southampton City Council, demanded that both Southampton and Portsmouth receive a third of these additional frontline officers – as the two cities share a third of the county’s total crime and said he would expect around 30 to 40 additional officers.

But now he is calling for more officers as soon as possible.

He said: “Labour calls on Michael Lane to immediately make available funding for at least two officers in each of the city’s eight neighbourhood policing teams – the equivalent of an extra bobby on the beat in each of the city’s 16 wards.”

His calls were backed by Southampton Test MP Alan Whitehead who said Southampton desperately needed its fair share of the increase in the police precept.

Police and crime commissioner Michael Lane was unable to provide a comment before the paper went to press.