London Evening Standard - 2021-11-25


Teen stabbing brings grim record closer


Anthony France and Barney Davis

A 16-YEAR-OLD boy has died after being stabbed during a fight in a residential street, as London today approached a grim record for teen murders. The victim was found suffering fatal knife wounds in Southall, west London, making him the 28th teenager to be killed this year, with the city teetering on the brink of equalling the record 29 young lives lost to violent crime in 2008. Police were called to Raleigh Road, Southall, at about 9pm last night after reports of a stabbing. Footage on social media showed officers and paramedics battling in vain to save the 16-year-old’s life in a front garden. He died at the scene a short time later from his wounds. This morning a forensics tent and discarded medical equipment including a defibrillator could be seen lying in the driveway of a home. A neighbour said the boy managed to run from his attackers before collapsing outside the house. He said: “It’s tragic. We were waiting outside the cordon and everyone was talking. He lives nearby so we are all upset.” The latest killing heaps renewed pressure on Met Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick and Mayor Sadiq Khan, who have been criticised for not doing enough to tackle the wave of teenage murders. It came six days after Jermaine Cools, 14, was knifed to death outside West Croydon train station in an attack that caused shoppers and commuters to “run for their lives” in panic. There have been no arrests in either murder investigation. Jermaine’s parents spoke of their heartbreak that their “angel” had been “robbed of his future”. Lorraine Dudek, 35, told the Standard: “Our lives are now empty — he was my soulmate.” Julius Cools, 47, added: “Men are lucky to make the age of 21 these days because of the level of violence. How can we live like that?” Scotland Yard has warned that the grim toll of teenage fatalities could top 30 for the first time. London has already surpassed the 26 who died in 2019 and the 27 killed in 2017. Separately, the Met has seized nearly 300 knives and arrested almost 1,000 people in a week-long crackdown dubbed Operation Sceptre. Officers conducted targeted patrols in violence hotspots and carried out increased weapons sweeps.


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