POLICE are appealing for information after two incidents in which female dog walkers were approached and grabbed by a stranger in a former colliery village.

The same perpetrator is believed to have been responsible for both assaults in Wideopen, north of Newcastle.

In the first, a 30-year-old woman said a man approached and put his arms around her while she was out walking in Weetslade Country Park, a landscaped old colliery site, off Great Lime Road.

She reported the incident to police at 7.33pm on Monday January 28.

The man is described as being in his early twenties, about 5ft 7ins, and was wearing dark clothing.

Another woman, aged 32, reported being grabbed by a man of a similar description, at about 7.41am, on Wednesday February 6.

She was walking near an underpass, between Torver Close and Birchwood Avenue.

On each occasion, the women managed to escape unharmed, but were both said to be shaken as a result.

Neighbourhood Sergeant James Brady, of Northumbria Police, said: “These types of incidents are rare, and I want to reassure the community that we take such reports very seriously.

“As a result, we have increased patrols in the area to offer reassurance.

“We would encourage anyone with concerns to speak to an officer.

“Or, if you have information in relation to these incidents, or any other suspicious behaviour, then please come forward.”

Anyone with information about either incident is asked to contact the Northumbria force, via the 101 number, quoting reference numbers 980 280119 and 133 060219.