WITH the victim of a vicious attack in January still in hospital three months later, another serious assault has taken place in Barnoldswick town centre.
A 17-year-old boy was smashed over the head with a bottle and then stabbed in the neck in the Town Square around midnight on Saturday.
The teenager, who has not been named, was taken to Airedale Hospital where he required stitches for a deep laceration to the neck.
A 21-year-old man who suffered serious head injuries when he was knocked to the floor outside Flava takeaway on the corner of Station Road on January 15th is still being treated at Airedale Hospital, after being transferred from Leeds Infirmary.
The shocking assaults have left some residents worried that the town centre is becoming more dangerous at the weekend, especially as the evenings become lighter and warmer.
One resident who did not wish to be named said she thought there had been more trouble in the last few months, which she puts down to a combination of rowdy youths and a declining night-life.
She said: “You don’t expect someone to be stabbed in Barnoldswick. It’s a traditional town where everyone knows each other and respects each other.
“If Barnoldswick has got rougher at the weekends it is because there is a small gang of teens who seem to be deliberately causing trouble, hanging around the takeaways, near the pubs and winding drunken people up when they are on their way home.
“Barnoldswick used to be a good night out and people would flock from Colne and Skipton but now I think the Barlickers are bored and drink more to have a better night - in the three pubs that are left - and perhaps problems escalate.
“If The Barlick re-opened and extended its opening hours it could be a place for locals who rarely leave the town and can’t afford to have nights outside of Barlick due to taxi fares and lack of late-night buses.”
Another resident said: “Barlick at weekends is dying a death and is really struggling because the pubs are closing so this is putting more people out on the streets, which could lead to the violence we have been seeing.
“The trouble isn’t caused by people in the pubs but the kids on the streets hanging about the pubs because they are either too young to get in or have already been banned from them.”
Jackie Taylforth, chairman of the West Craven Community Safety Partnership said she was concerned by the seriousness of some recent incidents, particularly the assault in January.
She said: “It is something that we will be bringing up at the safety partnership meetings.”
Not everyone agrees there is a growing trend of violence. Member of the town’s Chamber of Trade Jenny Purcell said there has just been isolated incidents.
She said: “Members of the Chamber of Trade have worked tirelessly to put this town on the map and there are lots of people in the town who work behind the scenes to make it a great place to live.
“With the St George’s celebrations coming up the youths of the town have been absolutely brilliant, especially when there is not much for them to do.
“People tend to have a drink too many, especially when it gets a bit lighter but you don’t blame the town, you blame the person and you don’t let isolated incidents put you off.
“One thing I would like to see is more police presence in the town centre on Friday and Saturday nights. That would solve the problem and there are no other problems as far as I can see.”
A spokesman for Barnoldswick police said they had not seen a particular increase in the number of violent incidents reported in the town.
She added: “We would always encourage people to come to us if they have any concerns about behaviour in the town centre.”
• A 24-YEAR-OLD man from Barnoldswick appeared before Pennine Magistrates on Monday charged with Section 18 assault (wounding with intent) in relation to the incident on Saturday night. He was remanded into custody to appear before Burnley Crown Court on July 11th.