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Demands for knife crime crackdown after Huddersfield town centre attacks

Community safety chief Clr Masood Ahmed demands action ahead of Christmas party season

A council chief has demanded an urgent meeting with police over a rise in knife crime and violence in Huddersfield town centre.

Clr Masood Ahmed, Kirklees Council’s Cabinet member for community safety, said he would be seeking “emergency talks” after the latest suspected stabbing left a man in hospital.

A man was attacked outside the Verve Bar in Byram Street in the early hours of Sunday, the latest in a series of violent weekend incidents.

Two weeks ago a man was slashed in the back with a knife when he stepped in to calm a row on the street and, in a separate attack, a 22-year-old man was stabbed in the stomach in the Tokyo nightclub in Queen Street.

Clr Ahmed said: “I am shocked at these incidents and that people are getting hurt on a night out.

“We want people to be able to go out in the town centre and enjoy themselves without fear, and even one attack is too many.

“We must tackle this before there is a fatality, and I will be seeking an emergency meeting with police to discuss the problems and what measures are being taken.”

Clr Masood Ahmed, Kirklees Council Cabinet member and Dewsbury South Labour councillor

Clr Ahmed said he would be speaking to Kirklees police commander Chief Supt Steve Cotter urgently in the wake of the latest incident.

Detectives are still piecing together what happened but said a 21-year-old man was attacked outside Verve Bar at 2.30am.

Police trawling CCTV footage after attack outside Verve Bar

Det Insp Ian Mottershaw, of Kirklees CID, said the man had “serious but not life-threatening” stomach injuries, possibly caused by a stab wound. Officers were looking at CCTV footage.

Clr Ahmed said it was clear there were a small minority of people going out in the town centre at night with knives or other weapons and added: “This must be addressed now rather than dealing with it when it’s too late.

“Why would you go out carrying a knife in the first place? You must have some motive or intention.

“People say it’s for their own protection but it should be left to the police to keep us safe.”

Violent crime has risen by 63% in West Yorkshire

Clr Ahmed said the message had to go out that people should not carry knives. “If people are

carrying knives or other weapons we must come down hard on them,” he said.

“I know the police have limited resources but this has to be tackled.”

Clr Ahmed said that if it was proved there was trouble with specific pubs or clubs that should be addressed by the licensing authorities.

He said the Christmas party season was fast approaching and people should not be deterred from going into town.

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