Group of men slash victim with blade before stealing his mobile phone during armed robbery in Preston’s Avenham Park

A man in his 50s was walking near the playground in Avenham Park when he was approached by three of four men at around 7am on Monday (November 14).

The victim was then slashed with a blade before the offenders stole his mobile phone and fled the scene.

He was taken to hospital for treatment but police said his injuries were “not thought to be life-threatening”.

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Detectives on Thursday (November 17) launched a public appeal for information.

“We want to hear from anyone who was in Avenham Park and the surrounding areas at around 7am on Monday morning,” a spokesman for Lancashire Police said.

“Did you witness anyone acting suspiciously in the area?

A man was slashed with blade during an armed robbery in Avenham Park, Preston (Credit: Paul Rushton/ Adobe Stock)

“If you can help, contact police on 101, quoting the log number 1207 of the 14th November 2022 or email [email protected]”

This week marks the start of Operation Scepter – a national knife crime initiative.

The week-long operation aims to target those who are carrying weapons, raise awareness of the dangers and impacts of knife crime, and engage with retailers.

Officers will be working with partner agencies to carry out several initiatives throughout the week, including school visits to educate young people, searching for knives in public places such as local parks, using metal detecting arches to identify people who may be carrying knives and giving advice to shops on the laws on selling knives.

Andrew Snowden, Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, added: “I fully support this surge in police activity targeting those who carry these dangerous weapons and the vital education on the risks they pose. Every knife removed from our streets, whether seized by officers or surrendered at a knife bin, makes Lancashire safer.

“It’s important to reinforce the message, particularly to young people, about how carrying these dangerous weapons puts them and others at risk, and anyone who does so will feel the full force of the law.

“I’ve secured funding to continue the work of the Lancashire Violence Reduction Network for three more years and I will also ensure the Constabulary has the resources needed to proactively tackle knife crime and put offenders behind bars.”

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