POLICE and councils have praised ‘superb’ community teamwork that helped apprehend a suspect after two people were stabbed in Crewe Town Centre last weekend.

A 72-year-old woman and a 55-year-old man were airlifted to hospital after separate attacks near WH Smith in the Victoria Centre and Asda car park at around 11.30am on Saturday, August 16.

The 55-year-old man was later released from University Hospital of North Staffordshire, where the 72-year-old lady continues to make a stable recovery.

Chief Superintendent Andy Southcott said: “Officers acted quickly to protect the public and appropriately trained and armed police were deployed.

“Incidents of this nature are very uncommon in our area but when they do happen, strict protocols are followed to ensure the safety of the public is not unduly compromised.

“In this case, the incident took place in a busy shopping area and I would like to acknowledge the assistance offered to ourselves by the public, our partners in Cheshire East Council and local retailers in co-operating with the police investigation and the temporary disruption that was caused.

“Anyone suspected of putting themselves or others in danger by arming themselves with a weapon will be dealt with robustly, and the suspect has been charged with serious offences.

“My thoughts are with the victims and I wish them both a speedy recovery for what was clearly a very traumatic ordeal.”

29-year-old Matthew Bullows, of the West Street area in Crewe, appeared before South Cheshire Magistrates Court on Monday, August 18, charged with two counts of attempted murder and possession of an offensive weapon.

He has been remanded in custody until his next court appearance on September 3.

Following the stabbings, clr Les Gilbert, chairman of the Safer Cheshire East Partnership, said: “These were appalling incidents and my thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.

“Cheshire East’s CCTV operatives, local businesses and the police deserve a lot of praise for their swift action and co-operation to help get the situation in hand so quickly.

“It was superb partnership work involving our CCTV staff and the local traders’ radio network to ensure that vital information was shared swiftly and effectively.

“One senior Cheshire police officer told our staff that this was probably the best CCTV interaction and co-operation they have ever had.

“It is fantastic that our business community has worked so well with Cheshire East Council and the police to help protect our wider community. I am very proud of them – and Cheshire East should be very proud of its strong communities and community spirit.”

Crewe Town Council Leader, Dr Kevin Hickson, added: “I wish to applaud the emergency services and that of the CCTV team for the professional way in which such a serious incident was handled.. This incident shows why it is important we work together and ensure that infrastructure such as the jointly funded CCTV is as good as it can be.”