"I would have stabbed you if you were from Preston" threat to Longridge man
An early morning walk home could have turned nasty for one Longridge man whose local credentials saved the day,
A youth threatened to stab a man "if he was from Preston" in an early hours incident in Longridge.
Now town Mayor Coun Bryan Dalgleish-Warburton has decided to raise the issue with Lancashire's new Police and Crime Commissioner Andrew Snowden, Lancashire County Council and Ribble Valley Borough Council.
It follows concerns also being raised over the behaviour of a small group of youths on the local recreation ground.
Coun Dalgleish-Warburton said he would alert fellow town councillors to the report of the stabbing threat but said it was important not to "demonise" young people and one key question would be what is being done to prevent future incidents.
He said: "We'll raise it with the people who are providing the policing, financing the policing. I'm very keen to ensure this isn't a demonisation of young people at a time when we need to bring society together."
The stabbing threat was made as a 25 year old man was walking home towards Stonebridge in the early hours of Sunday morning. A youth appeared from an alleyway and threatened to stab him "if he was from Preston" and later brandished what was thought to be a weapon. ,
The 25 year old defused the situation saying: "It's a good job I'm from Longridge then."
He said he had been about to take a short cut up a local alleyway off the rec. when he was stopped: "I was walking home from my friend's house. I was walking through the rec. in the middle of Longridge between 1am and 1.30 am. As I was approaching to go through the alleyway this lad came out from there. He was around 15-20 in a black hoody. I kept walking forward, I didn't feel intimidated or anything at the time. Then he stopped me and asked me my name and where I was from. I said I'm from Longridge and I'm going home. He basically said because if you had said you were from Preston I would have stabbed you."
Thinking he could not be serious and it was a bad joke, he said: "I kind of laughed at first - he reached into his pocket and did brandish something. The first thing in your mind is it's a knife. When he showed it I said oh alright and just carried on walking. I wouldn't take any chances with that, even if he didn't have a knife. He shouted a few things after me.I didn't carry on down the alleyway. He never made an attempt to rob me. He was just going for intimidation."
He stressed that such incidents were "so rare around here" and that he has never before felt threatened in the town :"I've lived around Longridge all my life and never felt once I could be in any level of danger walking round Longridge. It's still a great town to live in. It's just a case of a few bad apples can spoil a lot of things."
The incident was reported to police and a Lancashire Constabulary spokesman confirmed noone had been hurt and said : "An investigation is ongoing."
Sgt Kevin Day from Ribble Valley police added: "I want to reassure people the Ribble Valley has the lowest crime rate in Lancashire. The use of knives in crime is incredibly rare - we will obviously deal with any such issues."