• A press conference will be held at 2pm today in relation to the stabbings. To follow the conference, visit our live blog by clicking here.

ONE man is critical and another seriously injured after “random” stabbings in  Hereford.

Crime scene teams are at sites across the county tonight and five people are in custody.

At this stage of the investigation the stabbings - one on either side of the city - are said to  be “two separate, unprovoked assaults”. Both the victims are at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham.

The “critical” victim was stabbed on a footpath that runs off Golden Post, Hunderton, late this afternoon (Tues). Earlier, at around 3.30pm another victim was stabbed and seriously injured in Westfaling Street near the turn into Holmer Street.

Police were alerted after the ambulance service took calls reporting the stabbings.

Superintendent Ivan Powell, divisional commander for Herefordshire, said investigation teams were unravelling a “complicated” sequence of events and an evidence trail that stretched across the county.

All five arrests - four men and a woman - were made within an hour of the stabbings being reported.

A man and a woman were arrested at The Oval, Newton Farm. Three men were arrested in an operation involving armed police at Almeley.

Of the five, three are local to the county. All are being held at Hereford central police station.

Supt Powell said specific intelligence and “good local knowledge” by officers on the ground led to the suspects and their movements being traced so soon after the attacks.

He stressed, however, that the attacks appeared to be random.

“Right now, there are no obvious links between the victims and the suspected attackers, but we are in the early stages of a developing investigation involving several crime or evidence scenes,” said Supt Powell.