The parents of young people killed on the streets of London said “enough is enough” today after a 14-year-old boy was fatally stabbed during a weekend of bloodshed.
They described knife crime as “a stain” on London and called on Mayor Sadiq Khan to do more, after Fares Maatou was killed outside a pizza restaurant in Newham on Friday. A 14-year-old boy was due to appear at Stratford youth court on Monday accused of murdering Fares, who was in his school uniform when he was attacked. Two 15-year-olds arrested over the attack have been bailed.
In a separate incident, two girls were stabbed in West Norwood yesterday afternoon. One of the victims, aged 16, is in a serious but stable condition with life changing injuries. The other girl, 17, is recovering from the attack.
Four teenage boys have been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder. So far this year, 12 teenagers have been killed in the capital, 11 with knives.
One parent today accused Mr Khan of “looking the other way” while knife crime blighted the city. Jasna Badzak, whose 22-year-old son Sven was fatally stabbed in Kilburn on February 16, said: “The level of violence and particularly knife crime is a stain on the once great city of London. Enough is enough, parents should not have to go through what I have suffered. Now a 14-year-old boy is dead. When will this stop?” Mrs Badzak, a former Conservative campaigner, added: “While this is happening Sadiq Khan is twiddling his thumbs.”
Imran Mirza, whose 19-year-old son Mohammed was fatally stabbed in Ilford in 2019, said: “Nothing has changed since my son died and if anything things are worse. These boys are becoming desensitised to violence. In the schools they need to teach them some humanity at an early age… The kids are living in fear, more action is need at all levels.”
Just hours after Fares was killed on Friday, a 22-year-old man was stabbed in Bermondsey. His condition was described by police as life threatening.
A total of 34 murder investigations have been opened this year. Last year, 15 teenagers were killed.
Commander Alex Murray, the Met’s leading officer on violence, said: “These cases show why knife crime has to be our top priority… We owe it to the family of Fares and the others.”
Police have confirmed that Fares was in possession of an e-scooter when he was attacked. Scotland Yard reported more than 200 incidents in connection with e-scooters last year.
The Mayor today defended his record on tackling knife crime. A spokesperson said: “He regularly meets with bereaved families and feels a deep personal responsibility to them. Despite devastating government cuts to police and youth services, he has invested over £1 billion in policing and more than £70 million in preventative youth services.”