Police chief pleads for the community’s help to stop stabbings
PUBLISHED: 16:50 27 February 2019 | UPDATED: 16:54 27 February 2019
A police chief is calling for the public’s help to stop a slew of stabbings in London including an attack in Romford and two knife deaths in Bethnal Green and Ilford.
There have been 17 killings involving knife attacks in London so far this year, six of which happened in nine days.
Yesterday five people were stabbed, including a 20-year-old man who died after being knifed outside Ilford station and an 18-year-old who survived his injuries after being attacked in Victoria Road, Romford.
A second man was stabbed in the thigh in Ilford and has since been released from hospital.
His suspected attacker was arrested for alleged GBH.
There were two knife attacks in Enfield. One victim, a 25-year-old man, was stabbed in the neck and is in a critical condition.
Three men in their 20s were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.
The other stabbing was at South Ruislip train station where a 15-year-old boy suffered minor injuries when he was slashed with a knife.
Police patrols are being boosted across the capital, including by the Met’s Violent Crime Taskforce as well as teams from the gang violence, roads, dogs and neighbourhood units.
Commander Dave Musker said: “Every death or injury is a tragedy and will have a lasting impact on those who knew and were close to the victims.
“The public play a key role in helping to both prevent and detect crime in London.
“We are asking communities to support us and I strongly urge anyone who knows anything about these recent incidents, any violent crimes that have been committed or may be committed in the future, to give information - however small or insignificant it may seem, it could help save lives.”
John Poyton from Redthread, an anti-knife crime charity that works in A&E departments, said “all sectors of society” have to take responsibility for stopping violence.
“It is always devastating to hear of someone losing their life to violence. Sadly, these deaths are just the tip of the iceberg - emergency departments are seeing a steady increase in young people coming in having been caught up in youth violence.
“There is an urgent need to address the trauma some young people experience in their communities which perpetuates further violence.
“It is crucial that all sectors of society take responsibility to tackle violence as a health issue and ensure our communities are healthy, safe and happy for all young people.”
Patrick Green from the Ben Kinsella Trust said “nobody is doing enough” to stop knife crime.
“Often prevention and early intervention are the things we think of last and we don’t invest in properly. If lessons are to be learned we really to get behind not just the enforcement element but also to make sure that the next group of young people don’t carry the same attitude that a knife will protect them.
“We need to take a systemic approach to tackling this, tackling the underlying issues as well as tackling the problem as it emerges. Yes, police can react and contain and disperse the activity, but the preventative messages can’t be labelled at the police all the time.
“It’s something that we all have to take responsibility for. When it comes to knife crime, nobody is doing enough.”
In Birmingham three teenagers have died in knife attacks in the space of two weeks, and 269 knife crimes have been recorded so far this year.