Masked men caught fighting with machetes and samurai swords in Leeds – sparking move to give police extra powers

West Yorkshire Police have new stop-and-search powers in Harehills in Leeds following the incident

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A group of masked men have been caught wielding machetes during a fight in the streets of Harehills in Leeds.

In response to the incident, West Yorkshire Police have introduced new stop-and-search powers.

At 8:09pm on Tuesday evening, armed officers were called to Edgware Avenue after a window was smashed with a brick.

Footage shot on a mobile device shows several men fighting each other while holding weaponry.

West Yorkshire Police have new stop-and-search powers in Harehills
West Yorkshire Police have new stop-and-search powers in Harehills

Police officers searched Bayswater Road and Harehills Road – the roads the men were said to have ran to – but no suspects were identified.

Nobody was found with any injuries, police also reported.

A bag thought to be containing Class A drugs as well as a machete and a samurai sword were recovered from the scene.

Leeds District's Superintendent Russ Hughes said: "While we have had no reports of any injuries resulting from this incident, it is clear there were a number of males fighting in the street with machetes.

Edgware Avenue is where the incident took place
Edgware Avenue is where the incident took place

"We are still carrying out enquiries to establish the circumstances and background to this incident but there are already indications that it may be linked to rival criminal groups involved in the street-level supply of Class A drugs.

"On behalf of the local community, we cannot tolerate violence of this nature which puts people at risk and causes understandable concern to the law-abiding majority."

Following the skirmish, police have brought in new stop-and-search powers in the Harehills area.

The powers give West Yorkshire Police authority to search vehicles or people for weaponry, without requiring the typical grounds to suspect each person they search.