A RAPE investigation has been launched following an attack in a city centre


A 17-year-old girl is reported to have been raped in Houndwell Park off Vincents Walk, Southampton, at about 10am on Thursday..

The area was taped off following the incident and officers remained on the scene carrying out investigations for most of the day.

A Hampshire Constabulary spokeswoman said: “It was reported to police that a 17-year-old girl was assaulted shortly after 10am.

“The investigation is in its very early stages and remains ongoing.”

Following the incident, a Southampton City Councillor told the Daily Echo that steps are being taken to put up CCTV and improve security in the park.

Councillor for the Bargate ward, Sarah Bogle, said: “My thoughts are with the victim at this difficult time.

“Some investment via the Safer Streets Fund is going into this area for measures like CCTV in the next few months.”

Meanwhile Cllr Dave Shields, the Chair for Southampton Safe City Partnership says the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire has recently secured £550,000 for its safer streets programme and a major focus of this investment is improved safety in city centre parks, in particular Houndwell and Hoglands.

He added: “Every effort is being made to avoid horrific incidents like the one reported.

“Additional vegetation management and improved lighting and CCTV are a high priority for the police, city council and our other key partners from the business community and


However, MP for Southampton Itchen, Royston Smith has questioned if enough is being done to make Southampton parks safe.

He said: “This is a shocking incident and I can’t imagine how dreadful it is for the victim.

“Over the years the council has done what it can to make our parks safer but when an attack takes place in broad daylight the question must be, has enough been


Anyone who witnessed anything suspicious is urged to call police on 101 quoting reference 44200438513.