Manchester Arndale stabbings – praise for people who 'intervened' in assault

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Officers with an arrested man

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JOHN GREENHALGH

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The suspect was apprehended by police after an attack at the Manchester Arndale

A Manchester Arndale worker and a member of the public have been praised for helping to stop a suspect who stabbed three people.

A man “lunged” at people in the shopping centre on Friday and attacked a 19-year-old woman, a man in his 50s and another woman, who are in hospital.

About Manchester
Manchester () is a major city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England, with a population of 545,500 as of 2017 (5th most populous English district). It lies within the United Kingdom’s second-most populous urban area, with a population of 2.7 million, and third-most populous metropolitan area, with a population of 3.3 million. It is fringed by the Cheshire Plain to the south, the Pennines to the north and east, and an arc of towns with which it forms a continuous conurbation. The local authority for the city is Manchester City Council.
The recorded history of Manchester began with the civilian settlement associated with the Roman fort of Mamucium or Mancunium, which was established in about AD 79 on a sandstone bluff near the confluence of the rivers Medlock and Irwell. It is historically a part of Lancashire, although areas of Cheshire south of the River Mersey were incorporated in the 20th century. The first to be included, Wythenshawe, was added to the city in 1931. Throughout the Middle Ages Manchester remained a manorial township, but began to expand “at an astonishing rate” around the turn of the 19th century. Manchester’s unplanned urbanisation was brought on by a boom in textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution, and resulted in it becoming the world’s first industrialised city. Manchester achieved city status in 1853. The Manchester Ship Canal opened in 1894, creating the Port of Manchester and directly linking the city to the Irish Sea, 36 miles (58 km) to the west. Its fortune declined after the Second World War, owing to deindustrialisation, but the IRA bombing in 1996 led to extensive investment and regeneration. Following successful redevelopment after the IRA bombing, Manchester was the host city for the 2002 Commonwealth Games.
Manchester is the third most visited city in the UK, after London and Edinburgh. It is notable for its architecture, culture, musical exports, media links, scientific and engineering output, social impact, sports clubs and transport connections.
A city of notable firsts, Manchester Liverpool Road railway station was the world’s first inter-city passenger railway station. The city has also excelled in scientific advancement, as it was at The University of Manchester in 1917 that scientist Ernest Rutherford first split the atom, in 1948 Frederic C. Williams, Tom Kilburn, and Geoff Tootill developed and built the world’s first stored-program computer, and in 2004 Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov successfully isolated and characterised the first graphene.

Manchester Arndale stabbings: Praise for people who 'intervened' in attack

About Arndale
Arndale Centres were the first “American style” malls to be built in the United Kingdom. In total, twenty three Arndales have been built in the United Kingdom, and three in Australia. The first opened in Jarrow, County Durham, in 1961, as a pedestrianised shopping area.

Two others were hurt, but none of the injuries are thought to be life-threatening.

The suspect has been detained under the Mental Health Act.

Manchester Arndale stabbings: Praise for people who 'intervened' in attack

Witnesses said people were “screaming and running” as they evacuated the centre after a man started to attack shoppers with a large knife.

  • As it happened: Manchester Arndale stabbings

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Getty Images

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Forensic officers conduct investigations outside the shopping centre

Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson, from Greater Manchester Police, said: “We know that at least one member of staff from the Arndale and a member of the public intervened in the attack and we would like to praise and thank them for their bravery.”

At a press conference earlier, police revealed they had searched a property in the city where the suspect lived.

Officers said they were trying to establish if he had any political, religious or ideological motivation for the attack, although nothing has so far has come to light.

The 40-year-old man, from Manchester, was initially arrested on suspicion of assault and then re-arrested on suspicion of terror offences before he was detained under the Mental Health Act.

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham said officials were keeping an “open mind”.

“It’s important not to jump to any conclusions although what I can say is that, at this stage, it would appear to be more mental-health related than political or religiously motivated.

He said the attack appeared to be “an isolated incident” and urged people to “go about their weekend” as they had planned.

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Reuters

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Staff were allowed back into the centre on Friday afternoon

The shopping centre, which is close to the arena where a terror attack killed 22 people in 2017, re-opened for business on Saturday.

Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: “Every time we have had an incident of this sort in the city, Manchester shows its resilience, its ability to come together and its determination to get on with business – to get on with life – and that’s what we see today.”

Mr Burnham added the attack highlighted “the debate about knife crime” and he would ask police to consider “more use of stop-and-search powers but in a way that is intelligence-led, non-discriminatory”.

“Like other cities in the UK, in the past few years, Greater Manchester has seen an increase but… we actually recorded a significant fall over summer 2019 and that was, in part, due to a more targeted use of stop-and-search powers.

The force has appealed for anyone who was in the Arndale at the time to send images or footage via its website.

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Getty Images

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Manchester was praised for showing “resilience” after the attack by the city’s council leader