Man stabbed to death in London in third murder in two days

Mattha Busby
Photograph: Emma Bowden/PA

A man in his 30s has died after he was stabbed in east London, following two separate murders and a number of stabbings in the capital over the past two days.

Officers have established a crime scene at Alton Street, Tower Hamlets, but there have been no arrests and police are keeping an open mind as to the motive for the stabbing.

Police officers and the London ambulance service attended reports of an injured man just before 2pm on Saturday.

He was pronounced dead at the scene 40 minutes later and police began inquiries to notify his next of kin. A postmortem will be scheduled in due course.

It follows the arrests of 10 people over two murders, which were unrelated and occurred minutes apart on Friday afternoon in London.

One man was stabbed to death in the street in Wandsworth, south-west London, shortly before 4.45pm, while another man was shot dead in Greenwich, south-east London, at about 5pm.

Sadiq Khan, the city’s mayor, expressed his disgust and said the Metropolitan police were working at their limit, adding that anyone with information about either murder should contact the police.

“I am sickened to hear that two young lives have been ended within minutes of each other … Our overstretched police are working around the clock to keep Londoners safe. They need our support to end this scourge of violence.”

Hours later, on Saturday morning, there were three stabbings in a separate attack nearby, in Clapham, with four men arrested in connection with the incident – two for violent disorder, one for carrying a bladed instrument and another for possession of a laser gun, a converted weapon used for shooting sports.

The condition of two of the men is unknown, while the third has injuries which are not life-threatening or life-changing.

Speaking at a conference in central London on gun and knife crime, the father of murdered schoolboy Damilola Taylor said young people have still not learned lessons from his son’s death.

Richard Taylor called on politicians to engage with communities to tackle youth violence in the capital.

“Young people haven’t really learned the lessons of the death of Damilola, of Stephen Lawrence, and several others; they have taken life as if it’s something to play with,” he said.

“In our work in the past 15 years at the Damilola Taylor Trust, we have found that the problem that underpins the continuous surge in knife crime in the city of London is based on issues around family neglect.

“The family issue has often contributed to young people being neglected … in dysfunctional home[s].

“Secondly, part of the discussion that has been emphasised here is that the problem starts in schools as a result of [them] not understanding the background of these children.”

Damilola was found bleeding to death in a stairwell near his home in Peckham, south London, after being stabbed in the leg with a broken beer bottle by a gang of youths in 2000.

The number of knife and offensive weapon offences rose to their highest level for nearly a decade this year, with the number of cases dealt with by the criminal justice system up by more than a third since 2015.

There were 22,041 knife and weapon offences formally dealt with by the criminal justice system in the year ending March 2019, an increase of 34% since 2015, when the number was 16,438.