There are fears a serial sexual offender is targeting women in central Wellington, after two attacks in the same area less than 24 hours apart.
In the first incident, a woman was attacked as she walked home from the city around 1.55am on Saturday morning.
As she walked up the "City to Sea" stairs from the Terrace to the Boyd Wilson field she was attacked by an unknown male.
The victim screamed and fought off the man, who ran down towards the Terrace.
The offender was described as white, of medium build, about 180cm tall, with light coloured facial hair, and wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt.
The second attack happened on the Terrace at 12:50am this morning, near the scene of the first incident.
Detective Senior Sergeant Warwick McKee of the Wellington District Crime Squad said the woman had walked from town with a couple, after reading media reports of the first incident.
She was attacked on a path leading to her house.
The man spoke briefly before indecently assaulting the woman, however she escaped and fled inside.
Police believed there was ''a strong possibility'' the two attacks were linked, McKee said.
The description of the offender was similar in both cases, as was the time the attacks occurred.
''Fortunately in both cases the young women have escaped, but we want to catch this guy before something really serious happens.''
McKee appealed for women and students not to walk through the area.
''Please travel home from the city in a taxi or walk with your friends so you are not alone."
Police had increased their presence in the area and would be working with Victoria University to make it safer.
Police asked for anyone who had seen suspicious activity in the area to call them on 04 472 3000 or 0800 CRIMESTOPPER - 0800 274 637.
- The Dominion Post