WILTSHIRE Police are appealing for information regarding a serious sexual assault which occurred in Swindon yesterday.

At approximately 5pm a 21-year-old local woman was walking between Liden Lagoon and Austin Crescent.

She was physically and then sexually assaulted before the male attacker ran off.

The offender is described as white, of slim to medium build and aged in his late twenties or early thirties. He has ginger hair and was wearing dark jogging bottoms and a white and grey hooded top.

Detective Sergeant Liz Coles said: "This was a serious attack and we have a team of officers working on the investigation.

"The victim is extremely distressed and is being supported by our specialist Sexual Offences Liaison Officers."

The scene will remain cordoned off whilst officers conduct enquiries and a second scene in Okus Road is also under investigation in relation to a separate incident in which a young woman was assaulted at approximately 9pm the same evening.

Police are investigating both assaults and are keeping an open mind as to whether the incidents are linked.

Anyone who has information on the incidents or who thinks they might know who the man is should contact the police immediately.

Superintendent Charlie Armstrong said: "The community may notice increased activity in these areas as officers carry out important enquiries such as house to house and analysis of CCTV.

"We are taking the reports very seriously and public safety is our priority, measures are being taken including extra patrols in the area. Whilst we do not wish to alarm the public it is vital that anyone who has information contacts us and that people are vigilant and mindful of their personal safety."

Anyone with information is asked to contact DS Coles at Swindon CID on 101 or to contact Crimestoppers 0800 555 111 where details may be left anonymously if preferred.

Anyone who has been the victim of a sexual assault can contact the New Swindon Sanctuary Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) on 0808 168 0024. This helpline is available 24 hours a day.