Town hall chiefs in Burnley have taken the unusual step of calling for members of the public to identify a “dangerous criminal”.
Burnley Borough Council has issued a photograph of a man who made serious threats of violence towards council workers from the parks department, and then slashed the tyre of a council vehicle with a knife.
The incident took place around 12-20pm on Tuesday March 20th, just off Hind Street in Burnley, near the Rakehead recreation ground.
The council workers spoke to the man while he was walking a dog. He had failed to pick up dog muck on the recreation ground.
The man refused to give his details, swore at the workers and then threatened them with violence. As the workers withdrew for their own safety, the man went to their vehicle and slashed the rear driver side tyre with a knife.
A Burnley Council spokesmann said: “Ninety nine percent and more of Burnley residents work together with our staff, and respect the fact that they are doing their job on behalf of all of us, even when they are challenging people who might have done something inappropriate such as allowing their dog to foul a park area.
“Unfortunately, there have been a number of incidents where our people have been verbally abused and worse, including incidents of female park rangers having things thrown at them and workers in Burnley Market being threatened.
“The council will not tolerate such incidents. We will take appropriate action, including pursuing civil action against people responsible for threats, violence and damage. Where appropriate, we will withdraw services from people who are responsible for abuse.
“This violent incident last month was very serious. As with other incidents of abuse, it was reported to the police, and the council is working with them in our appeal to members of the public to identify this man, so that he can be arrested and questioned.”
Insp Duncan Arthur, from Burnley Police, said: "The park wardens support police officers to make local parks a safe, family friendly place. It is absolutely unacceptable for people to threaten public servants with violence, and we will not tolerate offenders carrying knives.
“If you know who the pictured man is, please contact Burnley Police and refer to the man responsible for criminal damage on 20th March, log number 0555. You can call 101. Alternatively, phone Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, where you can anonymously pass on information about crime.”