VIOLENT robbers armed with a silver claw hammer are being hunted after three incidents in the space of 24 hours.

Two men demanded money from a taxi driver as he sat in his cab at Witham railway station's rank in Albert Road last Wednesday at 12.40am.

One was carrying a silver claw hammer, but they fled empty-handed towards Cut Throat Lane.

They are described as white, in their late teens or early 20s, slim and wearing dark hooded tops and balaclavas.

About 15 minutes later another taxi driver was called to Teak Walk where two men with a claw hammer tried to rob him.

Luckily the driver managed to drive away before anything was taken.

At 10.15pm the same day, a man was walking along a footpath between Guithavon Road and Highfields Road when he was attacked from behind by three men.

They assaulted him before stealing a black and red Nike rucksack and making off towards Guithavon Road.

A police spokesman said: "The first man has been described to us as white, 5ft 6ins tall, slim and wearing a black tracksuit.

"The second man has been described as white, 5ft 10ins tall, stocky and wearing a light-grey tracksuit with black trainers, and the third man is described as white and wearing a navy blue tracksuit and black baseball cap.

"We believe these incidents may be linked and need anyone who has any information to come forward."

Anyone who witnessed any of the incidents or has any information should call Det Con Dave Smith at Braintree CID on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.