A MAN was stabbed in broad daylight a "truly shocking" incident which occurred in a Southampton park full of young families enjoying the spring sunshine.

Police were called to Hoglands Park at 1.30pm on Saturday after being alerted by South Central Ambulance Service, who were treating the 21-year-old victim.

He was in a skatepark used by teenagers when he was knifed in his left arm, suffering what police described as serious injuries.

The victim left the scene and sought help in nearby St Mary's Place, leaving a trail of blood as he staggered along one of the paths leading out of the park.

Police sealed off the skatepark and a pedestrian crossing outside a nearby hall of residence used by students at Solent University.

Royston Smith, Tory MP for Southampton Itchen, said: "This is a truly shocking incident and not one we would expect in Southampton."

Referring to the recent spate of stabbings in cities across the UK he added: "We need to understand the reasons for this increase in knife crime and support the police with the resources they need to apprehend the perpetrators and provide reassurance to residents.

"This is a national emergency and should be treated as such.”

A police spokesman said the victim was assaulted after being approached by a large group of men.

He added: "One of the men was reported to have used a weapon to stab the victim in his left arm. His grey rucksack was also stolen."

Police sealed off the park and a forensics expert examined the scene, taking numerous photographs of the skatepark and its surroundings.

One man ducked under the cordon and was reprimanded by a female police officer standing some distance away. She radioed a male colleague who intercepted the man as he continued to walk across the path and told him: "Something serious has happened here."

A short time later a cyclist started using the ramps in the skateboard park and was told to leave the area.

A large number of people are believed to have been in the park at the time.

The police investigation was watched by people sitting on benches bordering the crime scene as children played a game of cricket a short distance away. A nearby adventure playground was packed.

One man said: "My mate was here at around 1.30pm and when he came back an hour later it was all cordoned off. This area is a bit of a hot spot for crime."

Appealing for witnesses the police spokesman added: "We would like to hear from anyone who was in that area at that time and saw what happened, or who may have located the victim’s rucksack if it was later discarded.

"We would also like to hear from anyone who may have mobile phone footage of the group involved in the assault."

Police sealed off the park yesterday afternoon. A forensics expert visited the crime scene and took photographs of the skate park and its surroundings.

Anyone with information can call Hampshire police on 101 quoting Operation Kim. They can also call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.