POLICE have released CCTV images of a man they want to trace after a 19-year-old man was the victim of two racially motivated attacks in the space of a week.

The first incident took place on February 8 at 2pm, when the victim was in Church Square with friends.

He was approached by three men before one racially abused and assaulted him.

The second assault took place on February 14, at 4pm, where the same victim was walking along Dorothy Street. He was approached by a man, who racially abused him before assaulting him.

The victim wasn’t seriously injured in either incident, but has been left extremely distressed.

Officers in St Helens are treating both incidents as "linked hate crimes" and have released an image of a man they wish to trace, as they believe he may be able to assist with their enquiries.

Constable Megan Powell said: “I’m sure the community would agree that it’s completely unacceptable for behaviour like this to go on the streets of St Helens.

“The victim in this case has understandably left extremely upset by both incidents.

“We treat all reports of hate crimes extremely seriously and are working hard to trace the person responsible so he can be brought to justice.

“I would urge anyone who recognises the man pictured to get in touch.”

CCTV has been examined from the area and enquiries are on-going.

Detectives would urge anyone who recognises this man or anyone who has any information about this incident to get in contact with detectives on 0151 7776885 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.