Hunt for rapists after two attacks

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TWO rapists are on the run after separate attacks on women on Wigan within 24 hours of each other - one by a bogus taxi driver.

The first happened shortly before midnight on Friday when a woman was approached by a man in a car purporting to be a taxi on Chatsworth Street in Pemberton.

The 40-year-old victim got into the car, which was blue, believing it to be a taxi. The man drove to an unknown location and raped the woman before taking her onto the destination she had originally requested.

The second attack happened shortly before 10.30pm on Saturday in Mesnes Park in Wigan.

A 26-year-old woman was approached as she walked through the park from Market Place. A man briefly engaged her in conversation before he threatened and raped her.

The man in the second incident is described as Asian, in his 30s, 6ft tall and of a medium build.

He was wearing black tracksuit trousers with a white stripe up the leg and a black tracksuit top.

A definitive description of the offender for the first incident is currently unavailable.

Both women are being supported by specially trained officers.

Officers are appealing for information and witnesses.

Sgt Adam Wall said: “We have had two reports of rape in 24 hours and had another suspicious incident reported to us this weekend in Wigan town centre which relates to a man who has approached a lone woman.

“I understand this will be worrying for people, especially at this time of year when people are out in the town centre for their Christmas parties.

“We have increased our patrols in Wigan town centre and the surrounding areas and would urge anyone with concerns to come and speak to us.

“We would also ask if anyone is, or has been, approached in suspicious circumstances that they also get in touch.

“We are keen to stress to people that they should only use a pre-booked taxi or make their way to a designated taxi rank to ensure they are getting in a legitimate, licensed taxi, particularly if travelling alone.”

Anyone with information should call police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.