The town where crimes involving weapons has soared by 416 per cent

New figures show the number of attacks in Blackpool using a weapon has increased massively with the resort suffering the fourth-highest increase in the country since 2015/16.

Home Office figures reveal there were 330 offences committed in Blackpool in 2022/23 involving a weapon compared to just 64 in 2015/16, a rise of 416 per cent. The figure is almost four times the national increase of 110 per cent.

Among the worst recent incidents in Blackpool include an attack at a house on Raymond Avenue, North Shore, in February 2023 when two masked men armed with a machete and a hammer demanded money.

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In April this year, police made an arrest after a bag was found on Bethesda Road, Blackpool, containing three machetes, an axe and a lock knife.

Blackpool South MP Chris Webb raised the issue in Parliament on Thursday, May 23 when he blamed cuts in neighbourhood policing for the increases.

He said public order offences “were up nearly 500 per cent with neighbourhood policing cut by a drastic 33 per cent in my area”.

Leader of the house Penny Mordaunt said she would raise his concerns with the Home Office. She told the House of Commons: “Knife crime devastates lives and we now have some of the toughest laws in the country to tackle it with bans on particular knives.”

She said since 2019 138,000 weapons had been taken off the streets and violent crime had fallen by 44 per cent since the Conservatives came into power in 2010.

But Ms Mordaunt added “there are pockets where this is still a huge issue”, and said voluntary groups such as The Knife Angel were also doing good work.

Speaking afterwards, Mr Webb said Labour’s plans to tackle rising crime included putting 13,000 more neighbourhood police and police community support officers on the beat and launching a new youth programme to prevent teenagers from falling into violent crime.

He added: “These figures reveal the total failure of the Tories on law and order, with families and communities in Blackpool paying a price much higher than in many parts of the country. More criminals are being let off and more victims are being let down.

“For those who repeatedly cause trouble in their community or are found carrying weapons, there needs to be stronger interventions and clear consequences to stop their behaviour from escalating and to keep other people safe.”