London violence: Seven more hurt in attacks around city

By BBC

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The spate of stabbings occurred less than 24 hours after Israel Ogunsola, 18, was stabbed to death in Hackney

(BBC) – Seven more people have been injured in stabbings in London as the spate of violent crime in the capital continues.

A boy aged 13 was seriously hurt in an attack in Newham, east London, and another in his late teens suffered stab wounds in Ealing, west London.

Two 15-year-old boys and a 16-year-old were hurt in Mile End and another 15-year-old was stabbed in Poplar.

A man, in his 40s, was stabbed in Herne Hill, south-east London, but his injuries are not thought to be serious.

A man has been held on suspicion of attempted murder in connection with the assault in Mile End and the injured 16-year-old, who had minor injuries, was also arrested.

In addition to the stabbings, a man in his 20s was shot in the face in Tyers Street, Vauxhall, at about 01:25 BST on Friday.

He is in hospital and his injuries are not thought to be life-threatening, police said. No arrests have been made.

Timeline of Thursday’s stabbings

12:50 Billet Road, Walthamstow – man in his early 20s, stable condition, no arrests

17:30 East India Dock Road, Poplar – boy, 15, stable condition, no arrests

18:06 Grove Road, Mile End – two boys aged 15, both serious but stable in hospital. One boy, 16, who was not stabbed but was treated at the scene for minor injuries, has been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm

18:57 Gainsborough Avenue, Newham – boy, 13, serious but stable. Police said three youths have been arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm with intent

19:05 Ealing Broadway – man, 18, taken to hospital, not thought to be life-threatening injuries, no arrests

22:05 Railton Road, Herne Hill – man in his 40s, not thought to be life-threatening injuries, no arrests

Is it unusual to have so many stabbings in London?

One of the most alarming aspects of the latest stabbings in London is the very short space of time between them.

Six of the reported stabbings on Thursday happened within 95 minutes of each other.

Over the past two years there have been between eight and 15 “knife crimes with injury” on average each day in London, according to the Metropolitan Police.

There were between 243 and 476 knife crimes with injury recorded in each month between February 2016 and February 2018.

Last April there were 420 such crimes, an average of 14 every day.

The Met Commissioner, Cressida Dick, told the Evening Standard that knife crime was not an “enormous epidemic”.

Meanwhile, protesters and community leaders gathered at Hackney Central station, east London, to call for an end to the recent bloodshed.

It comes after London Mayor Sadiq Khan denied police had “lost control of crime in London” in the wake of more than 50 murders in the capital this year.

On Wednesday, 18-year-old Israel Ogunsola was stabbed to death in Link Street, Hackney. Seven more injured in London stabbings

On Monday, 17-year-old Tanesha Melbourne was killed in a drive-by shooting.

Less than an hour after Tanesha Melbourne was killed, 16-year-old Amaan Shakoor, from Leyton, was shot in the face in Walthamstow.

He died the following day, becoming the youngest murder victim to die in London this year.

Speaking to BBC Newsbeat near to where the schoolgirl died, a young man known only as Brandon urged his peers to “get out” of gangs.

Brandon, who used to “chill out” with many gang members in the area, said: “One day I just thought, what am I really doing here?

“People are dying that are not even in gangs. I don’t know what it is, if they getting killed (by) accident, or mistaken identity, and it’s just making me think, you gonna be next.

“Could it be one of my family, one of my friends. Could it be me?”

At the Hackney protest, people huddled round the station entrance before locking fists in a wide circle in solidarity for those killed.

Protest organisers Guiding A New Generation – commonly known as G.A.N.G. – asked people to share their stories and pleaded for an end to the killings over a megaphone.

Activist Boogz, 40, said: “We are trying to guide these children to let them know that their life is not going in the right direction.

“I want to say to them this is not the life.

“All the music that you listen to which glorifies this kind of thing, all the money that they see, all the cars that they see people driving, they are being sold a lie, they are being sold a false narrative – and we are here to change that narrative for them.”

Four hours before Mr Ogunsola was stabbed on Wednesday, Hackney police were called to a bookmakers on Upper Clapton Road. There were reports of an unconscious man following an altercation.

Medical staff tried to help the victim, aged 53, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

A post-mortem examination was set to take place on Friday.

A man has been arrested and will be interviewed by murder detectives from City of London Police, who have stepped in due to the “current demand” on the Met’s Homicide and Major Crime Command (HMCC).

There was also a fatal stabbing of a suspected burglar on Wednesday in Hither Green, south-east London, and, on Thursday, a man in his mid-20s was stabbed in Walthamstow. His injuries are not considered to be life-threatening.

Officers need help from other organisations to stop the UK from becoming a “police state”, the vice chairman of the Police Federation told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

Che Donald said the recent spike in violent crime had led to questions “that the police can’t answer on their own”.

He said London must learn from the joined up approach taken by Glasgow more than a decade ago, where knife crime was treated as a public health problem.

“We have to look at the fundamental root causes of why people – young men in particular – are carrying knives on the street. Do they feel unsafe? Is it a cultural issue, is it a social issue, is it an ideological issue?” he added.

“What we do not want to do is turn it into a police state, but unfortunately we are left with very little options and opportunities to address this growing crime.”

In a statement, the Met Police said it is “absolutely clear that we cannot tackle knife crime alone, we cannot enforce our way out of this and will do all we can to mobilise communities behind us and to help protect London”.

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