Manchester stabbings unlikely to have political or religious motivation, Andy Burnham says – The Independent

Posted: October 12, 2019 at 10:47 am


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The knife attack at Manchesters Arndale shopping centre on Friday appears to be more mental health-related than politically or religiously motivated, Andy Burnham has said.

The Greater Manchester mayor told reporters on Saturday that he believes the attack is an isolated incident and said the message to local residents is business as usual in the city centre.

Three people are recovering from stab wounds after a man armed with a large knife lunged at shoppers on Friday morning.

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A 40-year-old man has been detained under the Mental Health Act after being arrested on suspicion of the commission, preparation and instigation of an act of terrorism.

Counter-terrorism police are continuing an investigation into the incident but it is understood that no political, religious or ideological motivation has been uncovered so far.

Five people have been injured in a series of stabbings at Manchesters Arndale shopping centre. Footage posted on Twitter showed a police pointing a Taser at a man lying face down on the pavement outside the shopping centre as another officer handcuffed him.

John Greenhalgh/Twitter

Greater Manchester Police said counter-terrorism detectives were investigating the attacks at the city centre complex on Friday morning. A man in his 40s has been arrested on suspicion of serious assault.

GrizzleMarine/PA

Paramedics have treated four people, a spokeswoman for North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) told The Independent. No details on the victims' conditions were immediately available.

PA

The Arndale centre has been evacuated.

GrizzleMarine/PA

Police cordoned off the outside the Arndale Centre

PA

A police helicopter flies above the Arndale Centre

PA

Ambulances parked outside the centre

PA

Police surround Arndale shopping centre

Getty Images

Paramedics outside

PA

Getty Images

Five people have been injured in a series of stabbings at Manchesters Arndale shopping centre. Footage posted on Twitter showed a police pointing a Taser at a man lying face down on the pavement outside the shopping centre as another officer handcuffed him.

John Greenhalgh/Twitter

Greater Manchester Police said counter-terrorism detectives were investigating the attacks at the city centre complex on Friday morning. A man in his 40s has been arrested on suspicion of serious assault.

GrizzleMarine/PA

Paramedics have treated four people, a spokeswoman for North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) told The Independent. No details on the victims' conditions were immediately available.

PA

The Arndale centre has been evacuated.

GrizzleMarine/PA

Police cordoned off the outside the Arndale Centre

PA

A police helicopter flies above the Arndale Centre

PA

Ambulances parked outside the centre

PA

Police surround Arndale shopping centre

Getty Images

Paramedics outside

PA

Getty Images

The man believed to be the attacker has now been detained under the Mental Health Act, Greater Manchester Police said in a statement on Saturday morning.

The investigation will be continued by Counter Terrorism officers but an open mind is being kept in relation to any motive.

The arrested man was considered unfit to be kept in custody and has been transferred to mental health detention.

Police have searched the mans address in Manchester as part of their inquiries.

Mr Burnham spoke at the reopened shopping centre on Saturday, close to the scene of the attack.

Yesterdays incident in the Arndale centre was deeply distressing for those caught up in it, but of course for everybody across our whole area, the mayor said.

We think first this morning of those recovering from their injuries and I am sure I speak for everybody in Greater Manchester in wishing them a very, very speedy recovery indeed.

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This would appear to be an isolated incident so the message very much this morning is that its business as usual.

Mr Burnham added: It is important not to jump to conclusions but what I can say is that at this stage, it would appear to be more mental health-related than political or religious motivated but of course we need to allow the police to conduct their full inquiries and we keep an open mind on that until that work is complete.

He also praised the bravery and professionalism of the police and emergency services who responded to the incident,alongsideArndale security staff and members of the public.

Baroness Beverley Hughes, the deputy mayor of Greater Manchester, said: Across Greater Manchester with our partners with health, the fire service and local authorities in particular we do have a robust approach in trying to be as prepared as we possibly can for any situation such as this.

You never quite know how robust your planning is until you are tested in real-time.

I think we were tested in real-time yesterday and the response could not really have been better.

She added: We take some comfort from that, but we are not complacent and our continued approach to training exercises and developing our cross-agency resilience responses will continue.

A man in his 50s, a 19-year-old woman and another woman were rushed to hospital from the Arndale with stab wounds following the incident on Friday, while two other women were treated by medics.

None of the injuries are thought to be life-threatening.

The shopping centre is just a few hundred yards from Manchester Arena, where 22 people were killed in May 2017 when a suicide bomb was detonated following an Ariana Grande concert.

Agencies contributed to this report

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Manchester stabbings unlikely to have political or religious motivation, Andy Burnham says - The Independent

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October 12th, 2019 at 10:47 am

Posted in Motivation