POLICE are stepping up patrols around the Town Gardens as they hunt three suspects in relation to the stabbing which took place on Thursday.

Shortly before 1pm in the busy park two men were seen fighting, one of whom was seen brandishing a knife.

Witnesses reported seeing tables and chairs being thrown around close to the ice cream stall, surrounded by parents and children out for the day.

A 25-year-old man was headbutted and stabbed in the leg and bicep and was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

A section of the park was cordoned off while investigators and a dog unit searched the area during the day.

Inquiries are ongoing with the offender not yet in custody, and officers have three individuals they are looking to speak to in relation to the incident.

The attack was not random according to investigators, and the weapon believed to have been used in the stabbing has now been recovered by police.

The victim sustained serious injuries but was released from hospital yesterday.

Residents are being reminded about the importance of public safety, and while a police presence will remain in the gardens during the weekend the park remains open for general use.

Det Sgt Phil Walker, of Swindon CID, said: “This was a violent incident which took place in a busy public park during the summer holidays.

“Officers were on the scene within minutes of the incident being reported and the weapon used was quickly seized by officers.

“The investigation continues and we are pursuing several lines of inquiry.

“I would ask anyone with information on the assault to contact Wiltshire Police immediately.”

Supt Andrew Carr said: “We currently have three suspects we are actively seeking in relation to this investigation.

“I would like to reassure the Old Town community that a robust police investigation is well under way.

“What we would say is this was not a random attack. We are asking for any further witnesses to contact us with any information they have about the incident.

“We are putting extra patrols in the area throughout the weekend to provide reassurance to the local community.

“This was clearly a horrific incident in full view of parents and children in a public area. We would remind people to be vigilant and be aware of their personal safety at all times.

“It is likely that you will see a heightened police presence in and around the local area in the next few days.

Anyone with information should contact Wiltshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 where information can be left anonymously.