A MAN has been arrested after a security guard was sexually assaulted while trying to stop a shoplifter.

The incident took place on Monday at around 12.45pm at West Quay Retail Park. 

A security guard followed a man after he allegedly stole a number of items from a shop. 

During the altercation, the security guard was reportedly assaulted and sexually assaulted. 

It is also reported that the security guard was subjected to racially-aggravated comments and threatening behaviour.

A 28-year-old Southampton man has been arrested on suspicion of assault and sexual assault.

He has been released on bail until Monday, July 10. 

A spokesperson for the police said: "We are appealing for witnesses, or anyone with information, after an assault outside a shopping precinct.

"It comes after an altercation ensued between a member of the public and a security guard at around 12.45pm on Monday, April 10, in West Quay Retail Park.

"It is alleged that a man had stolen a number of items from a shop, resulting in the security guard following the individual outside the store in an attempt to detain him.

"During the altercation, the victim was reportedly assaulted and sexually assaulted.

"Further, it is reported that the security guard was subjected to racially aggravated comments and threatening behaviour.

"We are aware that the incident may have been recorded by members of the public who were in the vicinity at the time. 

"Do you have mobile phone footage of the incident? If so, we would like to hear from you." 

Anyone with information or footage of the incident is urged to call 101, quoting reference 44230140628.