A family with a young child was seen fleeing in terror as a man brazenly walked along Stanley Street, Bedford last weekend (Sunday, 5 November) carrying a huge machete and “looking for someone”.
The brazen act was captured on nearby CCTV at around 1:40pm and passed to the Bedford Independent by a local resident, who hopes someone will recognise the man and contact Bedfordshire Police.
Bedfordshire Police say they are now “carrying out a number of lines of enquiry”, and they’d also like to speak with two other men who were said to be with the man at the time.
The Stanley Street resident who captured the footage told us their neighbours think the men were looking for people who used to live on the street who moved a few months ago.
Local people have expressed their concern it is gang-related.
The Bedford Independent understands there were at least two separate 999 calls made to the police at the time of the incident.
A spokesperson for Bedfordshire Police told the Bedford Independent, “We received a report of three men walking along Stanley Street, Bedford, on Sunday, 5 November, holding what was believed to be a knife.
“Officers are carrying out a number of lines of enquiry, and if anyone has any information, call 101 or report online and quote reference 40/60552/23.”
The police also highlighted that knife crime remains high on their list of crimes they are working hard to tackle.
“The issue of knife crime is a priority for us, but it is one that requires continuous efforts and enforcement, and we have long vowed to be relentless in our response to crimes of this nature,” added the spokesperson.
“Next week is the start of Operation Sceptre which is a dedicated opportunity to highlight our ongoing work and the various angles we are taking to tackle this issue, and we work closely with partners and organisations.
“Knives destroy futures, families and communities and we must come together as a collective to make a stand against the notion that carrying a knife is acceptable, and our officers work tirelessly to enforce this.
“If you have any concerns about someone carrying a knife, regardless of whether they intend on using it, you must report it.”
Update: This article was updated on 10 November 2023 at 16:30 after clarification from Bedfordshire Police about how they are dealing with the situation was received. They also provided further information on their work to tackle knife crime which we are happy to include.