A 24-YEAR-OLD man suffered "life-changing" injuries after being stabbed outside a Dudley hotel, prompting police to warn that "knife crime will not be tolerated".

The victim, who was knifed on the steps of the Village Hotel at around 11.30am on Sunday, was rushed to Birmingham Queen Elizabeth Hospital with injuries believed to be "life changing but not life threatening".

Enquiries are on-going to trace his attacker.

A woman, who was in the lobby of the Castlegate Drive hotel at the time of the attack, said: “His girlfriend came into reception screaming that her boyfriend was hurt and had been stabbed.”

She said people were “running around trying to help” by getting towels and calling the emergency services.

The woman, who wished to remain anonymous, said she saw the victim "crawl on the top of the stairs outside the main entrance," adding: “After that myself and my friends just tried to keep all the children from witnessing it as there were a few wandering around.

“It was very upsetting. No one really knew what to do.”

She added: “It’s very shocking as it’s a lovely hotel. You don’t expect to see this sort of thing ever, let alone on a spa weekend away.”

This is the second stabbing to happen in the area in the last month.

A 20-year-old was stabbed in the arm by a hooded attacker - who is yet to be caught - as he left the nearby Chiquito restaurant in Castlegate Way on February 10.

Sergeant Adam Revell, from Dudley Police, has reassured residents that the force is "committed to keeping the streets of Dudley safe".

He added: "Knife crime will not be tolerated. These were two unconnected - but unacceptable - incidents and we would urge anyone with information to come forward.

"We carry out regular patrols in the area - particularly during the busy weekend period - and this will continue."

Dudley North MP Ian Austin has called for a tougher stance on knife crime as official figures show the number of people killed by knives in the West Midlands has increased from 13 in 2015 to 23 last year and the number of people injured soared from 871 in 2015, to 1,105 last year.

The Labour MP, who also pointed out that government funding for police in the region has been cut by £145 million since April 2011, leading to a reduction of police officers, support staff and PCSOs, added: “I think we need more police on the beat and a much tougher approach.

"Knives can kill and I think there should be automatic prison sentences for anyone caught with a knife, which is what David Cameron promised back in 2010.

“People need to be told that if they go out with a knife and they get caught, they will be locked up. No ifs and no buts.”

Anyone who witnessed what happened at the Village Hotel, or has information which will assist the investigation, should call police on 101 quoting log 889 of 4/3.

Alternatively, people can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.