UK: Five people were killed in London between late Thursday night and Monday, with one Metropolitan Police superintendent describing the “relentless” demand in the capital over the Bank Holiday for law enforcement not normally seen outside of New Year’s.
Just before the beginning of the Bank Holiday, at 10 pm on Thursday, a 42-year-old woman was found dead in her apartment in Cheam, south London. One man has since been charged with her murder.
Hours later at 1 am on Friday, a man believed to be in his 20s was fatally shot outside of Turnpike Lane Tube Station in North London, with the BBC reporting no arrests had been made at the time.
At 5 am that same day, a 74-year-old man was found with fatal head injuries at his home in New Cross, south east London, with the Evening Standard reporting that a man appeared in court on Monday charged with his murder.
While on Saturday, flower seller Tony Eastlake, 55, was stabbed near his market stall in Islington, north London. Mr Eastlake, who was mourned as a “friendly man and a local legend”, had been walking to the house of his childhood friend, Mark Kennedy, at 5:30 pm when he was attacked. Mr Kennedy described how his friend had been “randomly stabbed in the back by a ‘young kid’ who didn’t look back,” MyLondon reports.
And on Bank Holiday Monday itself, an 18-year-old man was fatally stabbed near tennis courts at just before 6 pm in Edgware, north London, while families were nearby enjoying the pleasant weather. Police are currently questioning seven men in relation to the killing.
Speaking of the spike in incidents in general across the capital, Superintendent Dan Ivey, who covers Lambeth and Southwark in South London, said on Saturday: “Last night was like New Year’s Eve levels of demand. Relentless.”
The senior officer went on to describe “high-risk suicidal people, fatal road collision, alcohol-fuelled football, pub and domestic assaults, illegal raves,” and “injured officers.”
The Evening Standard notes that the latest fatality would make for the 15th teenager killed in the city so far this year, putting London on track to break its 2019 record of 26 for killings of under-20s. Scotland Yard has so far launched 50 homicide investigations in 2021, with nearly half of the victims being under 25.
According to government figures, offences involving a bladed weapon increased from 9,700 in the 2014/15 period to around 15,600 in 2019/20 — the highest level since 2008 and occurring during the first term of Labour London Mayor Sadiq Khan.
Other parts of the country also saw shock instances of violence, including at a Merseyside beach where on Sunday three men were hospitalised following a suspected axe and samurai sword attack.
While in Birmingham on Monday evening, a 14-year-old boy was stabbed to death near a McDonald’s, with police speculating he may have been chased beforehand by a group of youths. Police are searching for up to seven suspects.
And in Northumberland, six boys aged 16 and 17 have been arrested on suspicion of murder after a man died following a suspected assault. The 35-year-old had suffered a head injury after being attacked while walking through an underpass shortly after 1 am on Saturday, with locals claiming they believed an altercation occurred after the suspects tried to snatch the woman’s purse, and her boyfriend retaliated.
By Victoria Friedman