THREE late-night attacks on homeless men in the same area within hours of each other are being linked by police.
The victims, who are all men, were set upon in the Guildhall Square area of Portsmouth.
Hampshire police said the first attack happened between 3am and 4am on Sunday when a 64-year-old man of no fixed address was targeted.
At about the same time a day later, a 29-year-old homeless man and a 48-year-old man who is also homeless were assaulted in the same area.
Those two attacks are said to have happened near each other, however the men were not together when they were set upon at between 3am and 4am on Monday.
Two of the victims needed treatment for cuts and bruises.
All three assaults are being linked by police, who believe the attacks were carried out by a group of youths who were in Guildhall Square at the time.
A Hampshire police spokesman said: ‘Police are linking the attacks.
‘The offenders appear to be part of a larger group who were present in the Guildhall Square at the time of the offences, most of them on push bikes.
‘Local Safer Neighbourhoods officers are in contact with local agencies who offer advice services to people who are homeless, as well as patrolling the area and speaking to people who are sleeping rough or living in vulnerable conditions, in order to offer reassurance and information about personal safety and other crime prevention advice.
‘It is not though that they are targeting the general public.
‘However, people should be vigilant in respect of their personal safety and property and stay together, take a taxi home.’
The attackers are described as white and aged between 16 and 20.
They wore dark or grey tracksuit tops and bottoms.
Witnesses or anyone with information about the attacks is asked to contact Portsmouth CID on 101 quoting crime reference number 44140350724.
Alternatively call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 where information can be left anonymously.