Lanes in Glasgow city centre should be made “as hard to access as possible” to prevent them being used for sexual attacks, campaigners have said.

The call comes after a 17-year-old girl was raped on Renfrew Lane, next to the Pavillion theatre, on Friday night, according to Police Scotland.

The lane was cordoned off by police yesterday morning as they carried out forensic investigations.

This attack adds to the 182 sexual assaults and rapes which took place in the city centre between April 2018 and March 2019, according to figures released by Police Scotland.

Glasgow Women’s Aid has said it appears city centre lanes are being “used very deliberately” by sexual attackers and blocking them off should be “looked into”.

A spokesman said: “If these are areas where rapists are targeting to take women then we need to make them as hard to access as possible.

READ MORE: Renfrew Lane in Glasgow sealed off as police probe rape of teenager

“If there is anything that can be done to make women safer, of course we would be supportive of that.

“It’s outrageous that we have to even discuss these things, but it is a fact of life unfortunately it does happen.”

In the past, some lanes have been gated and access restricted during certain hours, following a number of sexual attacks, as well as other crimes such as drug dealing and vandalism.

In 2006 a stretch of Sauchiehall Lane was closed between 11pm and 6am using 8ft high gates. While in 2012, Gordon Lane, which runs from opposite The Lighthouse in Mitchell Street to Gordon Street, was blocked off after a number of serious incidents, including the rape of a woman.

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Since July 2018, The Evening Times has counted at least six violent crimes taking place in city centre lanes, including on Sauchiehall Lane and West Regent Lane. In November 2018 another 17-year-old girl was sexually attacked on East Bath Lane.

These areas are often used for bin storage and rear access to city centre offices and businesses, but due to their secluded nature can become easy hotspots for crime.

Glasgow City Council told The Evening Times a Lane Strategy published last year found “erecting gates and lighting” was found to have a “limited impact” on crime and anti-social behaviour, and even attracted additional problems in some cases.

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The spokesman said: “Instead, it recommended encouraging greater activity and footfall on lanes by making them a more active, safe and attractive part of the city centre. The council has established a fund to support this regeneration.”