Disbelief and sadness for Walsall residents after machete attack sees town hit by more violence

Walsall residents have spoken of their sadness and frustration after a man in his 20s was attacked by a gang with a machete.

Pool Street, Walsall, which was the scene of a machete attack last night.
Pool Street, Walsall, which was the scene of a machete attack last night.

The attack happened in Pool Street just before 8pm on Monday and the victim was rushed to hospital where he is currently being treated for slash wounds, which are not thought to be life-changing.

Pool Street, Walsall, which was the scene of a machete attack last night.

It comes just days after 29-year-old Akeem Francis-Kerr was stabbed to death at Valesha's nightclub on Newport Street in the town centre, and six weeks after 20-year-old Bailey Atkinson was stabbed to death near the town's Asda.

The spate of unrelenting violence has caused unease for locals, many of whom no longer feel safe in the town they grew up in.

'Phez', who lives in Willenhall and works near the scene of the machete attack, said: "I want to say that I feel safe here because I've lived here all my life, but I also know more and more things seem to be happening in Walsall.

"There does seem to be a lot of stabbings in Walsall, it seems to be the thing that's in the news lately.

"I could have been there if I'd been working late and if I saw it happen, it would definitely make me feel on edge. And I think it is knowing it's happened, it is going to make people a bit more weary of the surroundings.

"There's reason to be cautious with everything happening at the moment, but we've still got to keep going. We've still got to live our lives and not be worried about everything."

Since the incident on Monday night, Walsall Police have announced that there "will be an increased police presence in the area" and emergency stop and search powers were put in place until 7am this morning.

Phez said: "I've read the police are stepping up their right to search which I think is a good idea. It shouldn't have to be that way, but at the end of the day the amount of trouble and violence that's happening, it's worth them having those rights to be able to stop and search people if there's grounds to believe they could be involved in trouble."

In the wake of the murder of Bailey Atkinson, police installed metal detectors in the town centre on alleys and streets which were key routes into the town centre.

"It was a brilliant idea," Phez said, "They were intimidating to walk through, even though I had nothing to hide. So it's a brilliant idea having these along key routes into the town."

Despite welcoming the increased police presence in Walsall, Phez went on to say: "But it looks like the police are doing a lot anyway. It's just down to the people in the town really.

"As much as the police and the government and the council can be blamed or do things - it's down to the people of the town.

"I know it's horrible to say because you can't tar everyone with the same brush, but there seems to be a lot of people in Walsall who are involved in crime. It's not nice to say but unfortunately it seems the way it is.

"It's a shame to know the town's going this away especially because the council seems to be making the efforts to make the town a friendlier place."

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