Extra police patrols on this weekend after two sexual assaults happen in Barnstaple within a week

Police want to reassure people in Barnstaple they are doing "everything they can" to keep the area safe after two sexual assaults happened in the space of a week.

The first took place on Sunday 25 September in the Gorwell Estate area of Bear Street between 3.15am and 3.40am.

The second was on the corner of Derby Road and Beaufort Walk, between 2.30am and 3.15am on Sunday 2 October.

Extra patrols will be in place this weekend in and around the town centre, especially going into the later evenings.

Police in Manchester arrested a man in his 20s on Tuesday (4 October), on suspicion of assault, but has since been released on bail and is not being treated as a suspect.

However, he is still being investigated in relation to a separate assault linked to the Barnstaple area.

North & West Devon Commander, Superintendent Toby Davies said: "We understand that today’s update could cause concerns for women in the Barnstaple area, especially as we approach the weekend and people look to enjoy a night out.

"I want to reassure you all that we are doing everything we can to ensure that Barnstaple is a safe place for women, there will be an increased police presence in the area and in support of the evening and night-time economy.

"These attacks on women by men are simply unacceptable; women should be able to go out at night without feeling unsafe or at risk of attack and all of us should be able to walk alone without fear, no matter the time or location.

"We continue to ask that our public report anything suspicious to the police and report any behaviour that has made you feel uncomfortable in bars and clubs to venue staff; please walk with friends and use licensed taxis to get everyone home safely at the end of a night out."

Anyone with information is being urged to contact police.