Police patrols ramped up in Preston "hot spots" due to increase in violent crime
Patrols are being stepped up in parts of Preston due to an increase in knife crime and "violent incidents", say Lancashire Police.
The force said it is ramping up patrols in "known hot spots" and the public are likely to see more officers on the beat "over the next few days and weeks".
It follows a stabbing in the city on Saturday (June 5) when a man in his 20s was attacked by a group of men in Grafton Street, off Fishergate Hill, and taken to hospital in an air ambulance.
Yesterday (Tuesday, June 8), officers arrested a 22-year-old man on suspicion of grievous bodily harm. Police said the stab victim has been making a "good recovery".
Last night, officers taking part in extra patrols in the New Hall Lane area arrested two men armed with machetes. Drugs, balaclavas and a large quantity of cash were also seized.
Lancashire Mounted Police also took part in patrols around Broadgate and Avenham yesterday evening (pictured), whilst the Tac Ops squad has been tasked with "intelligence-led initiatives"and "enforcement activities".
This morning (Wednesday, June 9), DCI Mark Haworth-Oates said the "high visibility patrols" could continue for days, or even weeks to come.
He said: "Over the next few days and weeks you may see more police officers than usual out and about in some parts of Preston.
"This is in response to an increase over the last few weeks in the number of incidents of violence – including the use of weapons – the most recent of which happened on Grafton Street at the weekend.
"People may well see extra officers on the streets of certain parts of the city, alongside mounted branch and officers from Tac Ops who will be carrying out violent crime prevention and enforcement activities in known hot spots in addition to carrying out intelligence-led initiatives.
“We are determined to do all we can and to use all the resources at our disposal to prevent serious violent crime on our streets and to prosecute those who engage in such activity."
Knife crime in Preston
DCI Mark Haworth-Oates continued: "Fortunately while knife crime in Lancashire remains relatively low, we have seen some incidents recently where knives have been used in violent incidents and at the end of the day one incident is one too many and we are committed to tackling violent crime and keeping our communities safe.
"If you carry a knife you’re more likely to get hurt. And when an incident happens the effects go beyond the victim and extends to their families – their parents, their siblings, their partner, and their children.
"Physical wounds act as a lifetime reminder and the emotional trauma remains with the family forever.
"What’s more, it’s illegal to carry a knife without a reasonable purpose or use it in a threatening way and being caught could land you in prison.
"I would urge those involved in knives and violence to make a change and to reflect on the potential consequences of their actions."
If you have any information about knife crime in Lancashire, contact the police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. In an emergency always call 999.
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