Paging Piers Morgan…
From Daily Mail: Machete attacks are taking place every 90 minutes on our streets, figures reveal. Criminals are increasingly picking the jungle blades as their weapons of choice to instill terror in victims and rival gang members.
Police forces are dealing with rising numbers of machete-wielding thugs carrying out murders, rapes, robberies and burglaries.
In February, 20-year-old Sadiq Aadam was hacked to death in Belsize Park, north London, by a gang carrying the blades. A teenager has since appeared in court charged with murdering two young men.
Days earlier, father-of-two David Pugh suffered serious injuries after fighting off four machete-wielding robbers who broke into his home and started beating his 17-year-old son in Solihull, West Midlands.
And in March, a man was left with life-changing injuries after a ‘chilling’ machete attack at a bar in Manchester. The victim, in his 30s, had been at the nightspot with his friends when another man walked past him and shouted abuse at a group of people in the bar.
Police said when the victim asked him to calm down, the offender turned to his friend and asked for a machete before striking the victim’s hand.
The shocking statistics come after Home Secretary Amber Rudd launched the Government’s long-awaited Serious Violence Strategy, which aims to tackle knife crime, earlier this week. It came amid a shooting and stabbing spree that has claimed 56 lives in London so far this year.
Figures uncovered using freedom of information requests show that in the last two months of 2017 police dealt with 928 crimes involving machetes. This is an average of 15 a day – or one every 90 minutes. London saw 425 of the attacks, with 99 in Greater Manchester, 77 in the West Midlands and 29 each in Merseyside and West Yorkshire.
It represents a dramatic rise from just three years before, when the deadly blades were used in only 100 crimes a month over the same period.
The machete was originally intended as a tool used to cut undergrowth or sugar cane in Latin America and Africa. Critics say they have little legitimate use in the UK, but they are not on a list of banned blades such as butterfly or flick-knives.
Gangsters are increasingly carrying the fearsome blades as status symbols and to spread fear with gruesome attacks.
Machetes came to public prominence in May 2013 when British soldier Lee Rigby was butchered in broad daylight by two Islamist fanatics.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that in the year to September 2017 the police recorded 37,443 offences involving a knife or sharp instrument – a 21 per cent increase on the previous year, and the highest since records began seven years ago.
On Monday, Miss Rudd promised an Offensive Weapons Bill, which will ban online knife sales to under-18s and make it illegal to possess so-called zombie knives, with long, serrated blades with a maximum four-year jail penalty.
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