SOUTHAMPTON police have issued a warning about an online hoax after a schoolgirl brought knives to her classes because she was afraid of being raped.

An online hoax has been trending on social media referring to April 24 being "National Rape Day" - which imply rape is legal for one day.

Officers in the city have provided reassurance to residents after a girl, 11, brought knives to school as she was afraid of being raped.

Police recovered the knives and spoke to her and her parents about crime prevention.

On Facebook, a spokesperson from the Force said: "At the risk of highlighting something that does not deserve to be highlighted, we feel it’s important to provide some information about a hoax social media post that is doing the rounds.

"The hoax in question has been seen mainly on TikTok but is likely to be on other Social Media platforms too.

"It refers to the 24th April being “National Rape Day” and implies that 24th April is the one day where rape is legal.

"Not only is this hoax disgusting, making light of one of the most serious, most traumatic offences a human can commit against another, it is also causing many children to be very afraid.

"Today we had to speak to an 11 year old girl who took two knives into school because she had heard it was almost National Rape Day and she was afraid of being raped.

"We have recovered the knives, and no, we didn’t arrest her. We have provided reassurance and crime prevention advice to her and her parents.

"Had the knives not been recovered this could have had dire consequences had this child lashed out in fear for any reason.

"Parents, please reassure your children that the hoax in question is exactly that: a hoax.

"It is not true and they definitely do not need to arm themselves for protection.

"And if you or your children see the “joke” post in question, please report it to the social media platform so they can take action and do not share it as it simply spreads fear and anxiety, particularly among school and college aged children."