A MAN and a woman were stabbed in the stomach on separate occasions.

Police were called to the Sainsbury's store at Deepdale, Preston, after a man in his 50s was stabbed in the abdomen at around 3.45pm on Sunday.

He is currently in hospital undergoing surgery but his injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

Three hours later at around 6.45pm, a woman in her 20s rang the emergency services and said she had been stabbed in her stomach in Blackpool Road.

She was taken to hospital.

A third incident took place in Deepdale Retail Park around five minutes later when a teenage boy reported he had been threatened with a knife and had his bike stolen.

The police are treating all the incidents as being linked at this stage.

A 16-year-old boy from Preston has been arrested on suspicion of attempted robbery, robbery and wounding.

He is in police custody.

As a result of these incidents, patrols have been increased in the area and a section 60 order was put in place from 7.15pm yesterday to 3am today.

A Section 60 gives the police the power to search people or vehicles without suspicion in an area where they believe violence could take place.

Inspector Phil Orme said: “These are very serious incidents where violence or threats of violence have been used.

“The incidents have been confined to a small geographic area and have been very similar in nature.

"At this stage, we believe they are linked.

“While we have made an arrest, our enquiries are very much ongoing.

"If you witnessed any of these crimes taking place or have any information at all that could help, please get in touch as soon possible.

"Anyone with information should call 101 quoting log number 1152 of January 26."

Alternatively independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.