Police address rumours of Otley stabbing in fresh appeal statement

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Otley police officers have said they are 'confident' there was not a stabbing in the town after rumours circulated on social media.

Leeds North West officers said they were aware of reports circulating on a local social media page of a stabbing in Otley on Tuesday night.

Detectives are investigating three linked knifepoint robberies in Wharfemeadows Park in Otley (Photo: Google).

Detectives are investigating three linked knifepoint robberies in Wharfemeadows Park in Otley (Photo: Google).

The officer posted on Facebook: "We can say that no crimes have been reported to the Police at this time and we are confident to say that the incident has not happened."

It comes after the Leeds District Crime Team appealed for information about three linked knifepoint robberies in Wharfemeadows Park in the town.

The incidents all happened between around 9pm and 9.30pm on Friday August 30.

A boy and girl, both aged 15, were in the park when they were threatened with a knife by a suspect who demanded their mobile phones.

The girl managed to fight him off and the suspect ran away.

He was described as a white male, wearing a grey hoody and a black jacket.

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Around the same time, a 17-year-old boy was approached separately in Wharfemeadows Park while he was with three friends.

The suspect showed them a knife and demanded the victim’s wallet but he and his friends ran off.

A short time before, a 23-year-old man was targeted near to the skate park in Wharfemeadows Park.

He was approached by a suspect who produced a knife, but he managed to run away.

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Officers are looking to see if those offences could be linked to an incident on Thursday August 29 where a 19-year-old man and his friend were robbed near to the cemetery in Pool Road, Otley.

They were approached at about 9.30pm by two men who had knives and had their faces covered with scarves.

The victims handed over a wallet, cards and cash.

The suspects were described as being in their early twenties and were wearing dark clothing.

Detective Inspector Andy Norgate, of Leeds District Crime Team, said: “These were obviously very distressing incidents for the victims and we are currently working to identify those responsible.

“We would like to hear from anyone who witnessed any of the incidents or saw anyone acting suspiciously in the area around the time.

“The incidents on Friday took place in the same location during the same period of time and we believe they are linked to the same suspect. We are also looking into whether the incident on Thursday is part of the same series.

“Otley is a normally a very low crime area and street robberies such as this are relatively unusual. We are liaising with our colleagues on the local neighbourhood policing team who are increasing their patrols of the area to reassure the community.”

Anyone with any information that could assist the investigation is asked to contact Leeds District Crime Team at Elland Road via 101 quoting crime reference 13190444886 or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.