A man has been arrested as part of a police investigation into a rape in a city centre park in the early hours of the morning.

A woman reported she was raped by a man in East Park shortly after 5am on Thursday.

It prompted a large police presence and a cordon which lasted until just before midday.

But this morning, Hampshire Police confirmed that they have arrested a man as part of their investigation.

The 22-year-old, from London, was arrested on suspicion of rape. He remains in police custody.

The force added that the woman is being supported by specialist officers.

A spokesperson said: "Since this incident was reported to us we have been in the local area carrying out enquiries and officers will be patrolling East Park and the city centre over the weekend.

"Anyone with concerns or questions is asked to please come and speak to them."

On Thursday, Hampshire police forensics teams were seen gathering evidence until the cordon was lifted.

 Southampton Chief Inspector Chris Douglas said on Thursday: “We fully appreciate how concerning incidents of this nature are to local residents.

"I want to assure you that specialist officers are working hard today in order to identify and locate the suspect, while the victim is being supported.

“Officers will remain in the area into this evening and tomorrow. As always, we ask that you come and speak to them if you have any concerns, questions or information.”

The incident has sparked shock and concern in the community - from residents who live nearby to councillors.

A 23-year-old Southampton woman, who lives under a mile away from East Park said: "It's horrible that has happened to someone - I wish her the best in what I'm sure is a horrendous time. 

"I walk through this park most days and to know this is going on is concerning. You never know quite what is going to happen."