Police say the hunt for a serial rapist is the biggest manhunt of its kind since the Yorkshire Ripper investigation.

Detectives have appealed for help after confirming he had attacked his 10th victim.

Police are "convinced" the man who brutally raped a 14-year-old girl in Stevenage on Friday has also carried out a string of attacks in the Home Counties including the rape on Putney Heath on July 11 2002.

Kent Assistant Chief Constable David Kelly, who is leading the investigation, said there is evidence connecting the attacks and they are waiting for DNA tests to confirm the link.

The search for the "trophy rapist" - he usually takes an item of clothing from his victims - is now the biggest ever manhunt for a rapist and the biggest investigation of its kind since the Yorkshire Ripper.

Mr Kelly said the man was extremely dangerous and appealed for anyone with information to contact police. "This man's rapes are horrible offences by any definition, the rape of children, girls of 10, 12, 13 or 14-years-old, right up to a woman of 52," he told a press conference.

"This is a man who is more than likely to strike again and we need the public's assistance to catch him as quickly as we can."

Mr Kelly said a current or former partner may be able to identify the rapist and it was likely he had been violent in previous relationships.

Report of the July rape