A concerned father has made an emotional plea for peace after his son was seriously injured in a machete attack in Nelson.
Mr Yasser Rauf (45) contacted Leader Times Newspapers in the wake of a serious fight in the Brunswick Street area of the town, which has left his 19-year-old college student son in hospital with head injuries and a gash to his back, to call on young people not to resort to violence.
The Nelson resident dismissed rumours that the disturbance was due to drugs or gangs, and revealed it was the culmination of a road rage incident which took place four months ago.
He also supported the unusual police action of issuing a Section 60 order on Tuesday evening which allowed officers to conduct 'stop and search' patrols in designated areas of Nelson, and urged young people not to carry knives.
Mr Rauf said: "The time to stop is now. I don't want this to escalate any further. My son has been seriously injured and the other party also has injuries. They are both very lucky that something even more dreadful didn't occur.
"I first heard about the machete incident when I received a call at 1-30am to say my son had been injured. You fear the worst. I don't want any parent to have to go through that in the future.
"I think the worry is that young lads will soon feel they have to carry knives to protect themselves. We don't want that here in Nelson and that is why I supported the police decision to carry out stop and search in our community.
"If anyone is charged with this or other similar incidents I hope that the full force of the law will be brought on them, to act as a deterrent in the future."
Mr Rauf's words were backed by Brierfield town councillor Ali Ahmed who said he also supported the police's actions.
Coun. Ahmed said: "With the summer holidays approaching we will have lots of young college and school students out and about. That's a lot of young men with high testosterone who could end up having arguments.
"We don't want to see our home becoming like the big cities where knife crime is getting out of control. I applaud the police's actions and I hope the young people think twice about getting involved with weapons. As a community we need to put a stop to it."
Following investigation three men aged 19 and an 18-year-old man, all from Nelson, were arrested on suspicion of assault. A 20-year-old man, also from Nelson, was arrested on suspicion of obstructing a police officer.
Two men, both aged 19, from Burnley, were later arrested on suspicion of assault.
Two other disturbances, one in Manchester Road and one in Southfield Street, were also attended by police.