DETECTIVES have launched an investigation after a teenager was seriously injured in a knife attack in Preston.
We were called at around 11:30pm last night (Sunday, March 10th) after the boy, 14, attended hospital with knife wounds to his arm, hand, leg and ankle. His injuries are serious but not life threatening
It is believed he had been attacked by a group of men on or close to Samuel Street at around 11.10pm.
Three people have been arrested and enquiries are on-going.
Chief Insp Steve Sansbury, of South Police, said: “I would like to reassure people that we believe this was a targeted attack but I appreciate this will have caused concern for the public in this area and people will see extra police officers out an about on the streets. People should feel free to approach an officer if they have any concerns or information they feel could help.
“We need the community to work with us and report any information to the police. If you know anything in relation to this incident or indeed any potential on-going criminal activity in the area, please contact us as soon as possible.”
Three men aged 21, 22 and 24 have been arrested on suspicion of GBH with intent in connection with the incident and remain in police custody at this time.
The incident in Preston comes as Lancashire Constabulary supports a week of action aimed at reducing knife crime.
Operation Sceptre, which runs from March 11th to 15th, is a national campaign targeting knife crime and those who carry knives.
While Lancashire is not experiencing the same tragic levels of knife crime seen in other parts of the country, we are keen to stress that any incident involving a knife could have deadly consequences and destroy lives.
And while there is a focus on activity during this week, our commitment to taking knives off the streets will continue longer term and involve key partners including schools and colleges, health services and trading standards.
Chief Supt Neil Ashton, joint Head of Crime at Lancashire Constabulary, said: “Too many families have been affected by knife crime and just one person being stabbed is one too many. The consequences of carrying and using a knife can be devastating and potentially life-threatening.
"We take all reports of offences involving a knife extremely seriously and we will continue to use all the powers at our disposal – such as Section 60 orders – in areas where we identify there is an issue.
"We are committed to keeping our communities safe and tackling violent crime is a priority for us. We will continue to work 24/7 and 365 days of the year and to act on intelligence.
"We would encourage anyone with information about knife crime in the area to contact police or independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
"We regularly take part in weeks of action including September’s Op Sceptre knife surrender but this is not just a police issue and we work closely with partners to try to educate people on the dangers of carrying a knife as it could have tragic consequences.
“I would appeal directly to people that if you know someone who is carrying a knife, don't keep silent. Report it.
Anyone who is found carrying a knife and is intending to use it as a weapon – even in self-defence can be arrested, go to court and receive a police record or even a prison sentence of up to four years and an unlimited fine.
Knife bins are being used at police stations in Blackpool, Burnley, Preston, Morecambe, Fleetwood, Greenbank Blackburn, Chorley and Nelson, during the surrender where people can hand in any knives. There are also two permanent bins at Skelmersdale. Knives need to be safely wrapped in tape and newspaper before putting in the bins. If anyone is in possession of a knife and is unsure what to do about it, we would urge them to take this opportunity to dispose of it anonymously and safely. Officers will also continue to carry out test purchase operations to ensure that retailers are not selling knives to people under the age of 18.
We will also be targeting our ‘most wanted’ individuals.
Clive Grunshaw, Lancashire's Police and Crime Commissioner said:
"Sadly, up and down the country we are seeing the tragic impact on people's lives as a consequence of knives being used.
"Campaigns such as this that actually remove knives from our streets play an important role in reducing crime and reoffending, a key priority in my Police and Crime Plan, and keeping people safe.
"Lancashire Constabulary do an extremely important job in protecting our communities and carrying out robust enforcement, but ultimately it is through early intervention and prevention work that we can most effectively tackle knife crime and serious violence.
"Knives are deadly weapons and you will be arrested and prosecuted if you are caught carrying one. If you own a dangerous knife I'd urge you to protect both yourself and those around you by handing it in safely and anonymously."
For further information click here
For more information on Section 60 authorisations click here
Anybody with information about the incident on Samuel Street is asked to contact us on 101 quoting incident reference 1478 of March 10th. Alternatively independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org.
Between April and December 2018 we recorded 849 crimes where a knife or sharp instrument was used*. This is an increase of 167 from 682 recorded in the same period of the previous year or 19.6 per cent.
During the same period all violent crime in these categories rose by 20 per cent due to changes in recording practices.
While we continue to monitor the position on knife crime the figures are in line with what we expected from those changes in recording practices.
We know that over half of offences involving a knife happen in a private space and in most cases the offender was known to the victim, with a partner or family member often the perpetrator.
*There are six categories:
1) Attempted Murder
2) Threats to kill
3) ABH and GBH
6) Sexual Assault