DETECTIVES investigating two brutal stabbings in Colchester are incredulous people are still carrying knives.

Det Chief Supt Steve Worron, who is leading investigations into the murders of Jim Attfield and Nahid Al-Manea, said they are showing an utter disregard to the community.

In one incident, a suspect threatened to kill a man, 22, on Balkerne Hill at 3.30am on Saturday by stabbing him to death.

The victim fled unharmed.

Detectives have passed information to the murder investigation teams, but say the investigations are separate.

It followed a stabbing in a flat in Osborne Street on Sunday and a knife attack outside the YMCA in Magdalen Street on Friday.

Mr Worron said: “Carrying a knife in public shows an utter disregard to the community.

“My message to people who think about carrying knives is don’t. My appeal to the public is if you see people carrying knives, call us.”

Police are using special stop and search powers in the wake of the murders of Mr Attfield, who was found with 102 stab wounds, on March 29 and Nahid, who had been stabbed 16 times.

Officers can search anyone without needing to have a reason to suspect they are involved in a specific crime.

Nahid, 31, was found on Greenstead’s Salary Brook Trail on Tuesday, June 17, at 10.40am.

The Essex University student from Saudi Arabia was living in Woodrow Way.

Jim, 33, of East Bay, Colchester, was stabbed 102 times on a path near Colchester’s Castle Park. He was found on Saturday, March 29, at 5.50am.

Essex Police is running “separate, but parallel” investigations into the killings.

Saturday’s attacker in Balkerne Hill is described as white, early twenties, about 5ft 11ins, slim, with short, dark, spiky hair. He had a pointed face with a large nose and prominent cheekbones.

He was wearing a black hooded top with a large pocket on the front, dark blue jeans and white trainers.

Officers working on the murder investigations are sharing details to see if they can find evidential links between the two but none have been found so far.

However police have not ruled out the possibility the same killer or killers were responsible given the similarities in the way the victims were killed and the locations.

Attempts to find a man in an Italian designer jacket who may have vital information about the killing of Nahid continue.

Work is also being carried out to find a couple who may have been sitting next to JIm at 11.30pm on Friday, March 28, on a bench.

Anyone with information call 01245 282103 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.