POLICE have arrested three boys following a series of violent incidents on Southampton Common.

The 12-year-old and two 16-year-olds have been arrested and are being questioned by detectives about attacks in which almost all the victims were subjected to homophobic abuse.

The assaults, some of which are believed to have been filmed on mobile phones, all happened in mid to late April, usually in the early evening, and most involved groups of youths.

Detective Inspector Nigel Oliver said: "The attacks on the common have been really nasty and unprovoked. In some cases it seems those who carried out the assaults filmed them on their mobile phones.

"We take homophobic attacks very seriously and will deal robustly with anyone who does carry out any such assault."

"We are also very concerned by the fact that some youngsters seem to be doing this just to film it on their phones.

"We would warn anyone that any type of assault is not a bit of fun or entertainment. It can cause serious injury, and those who carry out these attacks are likely to find themselves behind bars."

The three boys arrested have since been given police bail until July 20 while inquiries continue.

Police are still appealing for witnesses to any of the attacks on the common and they are urging any other victims who have not already contacted police to come forward.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Operation Arkansas Team at Bitt-erne CID on 0845 045 45 45 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.