POLICE want to find a group of young thugs who are hanging around the Leeds and Liverpool canal after two shocking assaults in Bootle and Netherton.
In the first incident on Tuesday, May 26, a pregnant woman and her male partner were kicked into the canal near the Strand Road bridge in Bootle at around 8pm.
The attack was carried out by a group of yobs aged between 15 and 18, who had asked the couple for the time before attacking them.
In a separate incident only two days later (Sunday, May 28) two 14 year-old boys were assaulted on the canal towpath near Glovers Lane, in Netherton.
The 14-year-old victims were reportedly chased by four males who were all wearing balaclavas.
They caught up with the teenagers and assaulted them, causing injuries to one of the boys head, neck and stomach and forcing the other to get into the canal.
The offenders are also reported to have stolen both victims’ shoes, one of their bank cards and Apple AirPods headphones.
The victims were later helped by a member of the public who kindly took them back to their home addresses.
One of the victims was later taken to hospital by his mother where he was treated for his injuries.
It’s not known if these two attacks next to the canal are connected, or if the attackers are the same group.
Detective Sergeant Alan Williams said: “This is the second incident we have seen in a week where people have been assaulted in this area and have either been pushed into the canal or otherwise assaulted during completely unprovoked attacks which could have resulted in far more serious injuries or worse.
“We are continuing to carry out a number of enquiries and would ask anyone with information on either incident to come forward.
“Please also be reminded that government guidance is there for your own and other peoples safety – large groups should not be congregating together and intimidating other members of the public.
“It is vital that we work together to protect and support each other and I would urge anyone to come forward with information if you were in the area at the time of this incident and witnessed what happened or if you were the member of the public who kindly helped the two young boys, please let us know quoting 20000308728. Likewise, if you have any CCTV or dashcam footage please get in touch.”