DETECTIVES are investigating a pair of town centre assaults which happened within minutes of each other.

The first happened in Colchester High Street near to Red Lion Walk, at 3.25am on Saturday.

A 19-year-old man from Wivenhoe was punched by another person and fell backwards, hitting his head on the pavement and leaving him with a head wound.

He suffered injuries to his head and face.

They are not believed to be serious.

Police want to speak to a man who was in the area at the time.

He has been described as being of Eastern European descent and wore a red jacket. It is believed he left the scene on foot.

Shortly before 4.20am this morning officers were called to reports of a fight on Priory Street, near to the car park.

It is believed that two men from Colchester, one in their 20s and the other in their 30s, attempted to break up the fight and were assaulted in the process.

Both have been taken to hospital where they are in a stable condition. Their injuries are not life-threatening or life-changing.

Officers want to speak to anyone involved in the original fight, or who may have dash cam in their car and was driving past the area at the time, or any local businesses with CCTV.

They do not think the incidents are connected.

Chief Insp Rob Huddleston, district commander for Colchester, said: “Two serious incidents in one night is incredibly concerning for my teams and, understandably, for local residents.

"We’re working quickly to try and locate those who are responsible.

"If you were out in the early hours of this morning and can help us, I need you to get in touch.

“We continue to work closely with our local bars and clubs in the area and provide a visible police presence to ensure everyone has a safe night out.

“Being assaulted is never acceptable and, if you’ve had a few drinks, you won’t know your own strength. Just one punch and it can all be over. It’s incredibly dangerous, and there’s no need for it.

“There will be officers out in the town centre from Saturday as part of a pre-planned operation, and over the coming weekends to ensure that people can safely and responsibly enjoy their nights out in the lead up to Christmas.”

If you have any information about either incident call 101 quoting incident 185 of December 7 for the High Street assault and incident 214 of the same date for the Priory Street assault.

Alternatively call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.