Andy Burnham: 'Manchester Arndale Stabbings Appear To Be Mental Health Related'

12 October 2019, 11:19

The Mayor of Greater Manchester said that the investigations are ongoing and they will keep "an open mind" but the "underlying issue" appears to be mental health related.

Burnham said: "I'm talking to you, Matt, from the middle of the Arndale Centre and life is returning to normal. Yesterday's attack was deeply distressing for those caught up in it and indeed for everybody in this city because obviously everyone passes through this place.

But it would appear to be an isolated incident that was dealt with extremely professionally by Greater Manchester Police and I would just want to put on record my deep appreciation for everything our officers did yesterday."

Matt Frei asked about the suspect.

Three people were stabbed and two others were hurt when the suspect started "lunging" at people with a large knife, according to police.

A 40-year-old man from the Manchester area was arrested. Police later said he was detained under the Mental Health Act following an assessment "by specialist doctors".

Burnham replied: "There's a limited amount I can say, Matt, at this stage it would appear that there is more of a mental health underlying issue here as opposed to a political or religious motivation. I say that cautiously because we don't fully know yet. The investigations are ongoing and we keep an open mind."

Andy Burnham: 'Manchester Arndale Stabbings Appear To Be Mental Health Related'
Andy Burnham: 'Manchester Arndale Stabbings Appear To Be Mental Health Related'. Picture: PA

Matt asked what advice he would give to the public.

Burnham responded: "To go about their weekend as normal but to remain vigilant. There will be more police in the city this weekend because obviously in these moments you kind of wonder whether there's a risk of a copycat incident so there is a bit of more police presence. So people should be vigilant but the advice is to go about your weekend as normal and enjoy the weekend."

He added: "We will certainly pressing for a persecution of the individual or those responsible."