Footage shows the moment a thug swings an 18-inch machete at a man in the centre of Bournemouth in a suspected gang confrontation.
The hooded youth can be seen drawing the blade from a rucksack as the man, in his 20s, approached him in Bournemouth’s town square late last Monday evening.
A stand-off ensues before the machete-wielder lunges at his opponent with a wide swing, missing his face by just a few inches as he dodges out of the way.
Having narrowly escaped injury, the man runs off – but was stopped by police officers minutes later and found to be in possession of a penknife. He has since been released without charge.
The machete-wielder and his associates, who all appear to be in their teens or early adulthood, could be seen excitedly re-enacting the moment as they returned to the scene of the crime.
Earlier parts of the footage, which was captured by CCTV, showed them drinking and inhaling balloons of nitrous oxide in the public square.
A local business owner, wishing to remain anonymous, said: ‘There are some big gangs that roam around at night in Bournemouth at the moment. It is horrendous.
‘Boris Johnson is going on about carrying out stop and searches. People say that they are unnecessary but, in this instance, you might just save lives by doing so in the future.
‘Police are going on about the fact that they don’t want to criminalise them, but parents also don’t want their son coming home with half his head missing.
He added: ‘These criminals are hiding in plain sight, but the whole police approach is strange.
‘They should cordon off the square late at night and search bags, and they’ll find all sorts.
‘For some reason they know what’s going on but don’t do anything to stop it.
‘As a result, the criminals think they are untouchable, tell you they are untouchable, and will not pay any attention to authority until someone shows them authority.’
A Dorset Police spokesperson said: ‘Dorset Police received a report at 11.05pm on July 26 of a man in possession of a knife in Exeter Road in Bournemouth.
‘It is reported that the man ran off toward the gardens, before being detained in the town centre by officers.
‘The arrested man – aged in his 20s and from Bristol – reported that he had been threatened by two people with a machete in the town who he ran away from.
The spokesperson added: ‘Officers carried out enquiries into the incident, including reviewing CCTV from the area.
‘The arrested man was subsequently released without charge and will face no further police action in relation to this incident.
‘An investigation is underway into the report that the man had been threatened with a machete. No arrests have been made.’
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