POLICE have launched a rape probe after a woman was attacked in a city centre park.

The 26-year-old woman was raped as she walked through Hoglands Park, Southampton.

Police are now hunting the attacker, who they describe as Asian or black, in his late 30s and of a skinny build.

Officers say the attack took place near the park's skate ramps between 7pm and 7.30pm on Monday night.

The woman was walking through the park alone when the man approached her and raped her.

Police are now appealing for help to find the man, who was wearing a dark grey beanie hat, black coat, dark jeans.

Officers say he was around 5ft8in tall and spoke with a "foreign accent".

They are also appealing for potential witnesses to come forward.

Investigating, Detective Inspector Matt Barcraft-Barnes said: “This woman was walking on her own through Palmerston Park and into Hoglands Park, when a man approached her and raped her by the skate park area. 

“We have been carrying out extensive enquiries in the local area to identify this man. 

"To assist the investigation team identify this man, I would like to hear from anyone who was in Hoglands Park last night who saw a man matching this description, or who saw a woman, alone and distressed in the Palmerston Road area.

“Even very small bits of information can be significant, so please get in contact with us, call 101 and quote 44180084644."

He added: “Our advice is to not be alarmed but to remain vigilant, if you’re walking on your own in the city in the hours of darkness, stick to busy well-lit areas.

"Officers from Southampton Central Neighbourhood Policing Team will be patrolling the area.

"If you have any concerns, please approach them.”

Police cordoned off the park for most of this morning while officers investigated the scene.

The park was taped off at each of its entrances.

Here is a video from the scene earlier today.