TWO women have been raped in Newbury in the space of a month and police believe the incidents may be linked by a man in a taxi targeting vulnerable revellers.

Police are keeping an open mind over whether one individual or a group of men are responsible for the offences, which have seen two women in their twenties attacked in the early hours.

A 40-year-old man for Newbury was arrested in connection with both of the offences on separate dates, but he has been released under investigation.

In the first incident, the victim left The Vault nightclub in Kennet Shopping Centre on the evening of January 19 and was collected in a taxi - or someone claiming to be a taxi driver - at around 1.30am the following morning.

She was collected in Mayors Lane and at some point after she was raped in the vehicle at an unknown location.

On February 24, a 29-year-old woman left the Coopers Arms in Bartholomew Street in the early hours.

She picked up a taxi near the roundabout on Inches Yard and was driven to an unknown property where she too was sexually assaulted.

Reading Chronicle:

Detective inspector​ Matt Stone

In this instance, the victim described her attacker as an Asian man, around 5ft 8ins tall, in his thirties and of slim build. He had a strong Asian accent.

In an effort to reassure the public, an urgent press briefing was held at Newbury Police Station on March 1 and investigating officers appealed for anyone with information to come forward.

Detective inspector Matt Stone, of Berkshire Force CID, said: "Detectives investigating both incidents believe the two offences are linked.

"I want to assure the public that everything is being done to locate and bring the offender or offenders to justice.

"We believe there has only been one attacker, but we are keeping an open mind about the possibility that he may be being assisted by others.

"This is a complex investigation involving obtaining and reviewing hundreds of hours of CCTV, carrying out painstaking forensic work, as well as taking statements from potential witnesses.

"These types of offences are exceptionally rare and to have two that ar linked is very unusual. We are making progress. The investigation is fast moving.

"We have a number of foresnsic avenues to explore and that takes time. We are considering an E-Fit as a line of enquiry, but we have other processes to do before that. We have other opportunities which would be more valuable to us.

"Both offences were reported to us quickly and both women have been given the support they need."

Anyone with information is urged to contact Thames Valley Police on 101, quoting reference number '782 (1/3)'.