A community has been left ‘shocked and terrified’ after three Asian women were targeted by a knife-wielding robber who threatened to kill them.
The incident happened on Willows Lane in Accrington near the former working men’s club and the three women are all in their late teens and early 20s.
Councillors and community leaders in the area said it was an ‘appalling incident’ and has now left many women afraid to walk the streets at night.
Police said the young women were approached by the vicious would-be robber at around 8.45pm on Saturday, November 8 who came from the junction of Perth Street and pulled out a knife.
He threatened one of the women with the knife and grabbed her shoulder, demanding that all three hand over their mobile phones.
It is reported that the man then dragged one of the women towards the bus shelter and forced her to the floor. He then held the knife near to her head.
One of the other women tried to grab the knife and sustained a minor cut to her hand.
Police said the man continued to threaten the women and said that he would kill them if they didn’t hand over money.
The man eventually ran off, empty handed, towards Perth Street.
Ward councillor Mohammed Ayub said the incident happened only 50m from his home.
He said: “It is completely unacceptable.
“My wife said she is not going to go out alone now and one of my neighbours has said the same.
“It was a really bad and terrifying incident and I hope he gets the punishment he deserves.”
Mayor and local councillor Munsif Dad said he was glad the women did not suffer serious injuries.
He said: “Obviously it’s a serious incident and needs to be looked at, especially when women are walking in the evening on their own.
“They are very vulnerable.
“We need to make sure this is a safer area in the future with more patrols and individuals being more vigilant as well.
“I’m glad that the young girls weren’t seriously hurt.”
Coun Pam Barton, chair of Hyndburn’s Community Safe Partnership, said she was ‘absolutely shocked’ when she heard about the attack. She said: “It happened on a main road. It was a very brazen attack. It’s appalling the fact that a knife was used.”
The man is described as a white, 5ft 9ins tall of a thin build with a pale complexion. He is thought to be around 30 to 35 years old and is described as having sagging skin on his face. He was wearing a black tracksuit with the hood down and a black beanie hat. Another man is thought to have waited on Perth Street throughout the incident.
DC Dan Perkins, of Blackburn Police, said: “This was a very traumatic incident for the three women involved.”
Anyone with information call Lancashire Police on 101 quoting log number 1181 of November 8 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.