in London, the disturbing record of knife attacks


Posted today at 7:53 a.m., updated at 9:48 a.m.

Leaving the East Croydon train station (south London), through the rain curtain, we immediately guessed what it was all about. Soaking flowers, candles, plasticized photo of a teenager: Louis Johnson, 16, was the victim of the long series of knife crimes in the English capital. In 2019, it killed 90 people, including 23 adolescents, a record for eleven years. Louis was stabbed to death on January 27. In the middle of the afternoon, just before taking his train. Another young man has been arrested on suspicion of murder. He is also 16 years old.

Louis’s family is not in the Croydon City Council Chamber at the end of February for the conference organized by the mayor, Humayun Kabir, on the knife attacks. A mother testifies.

Her name is Yemi Hughes, her face is soft and sad, but her voice remains incredibly firm in front of the crowded room. Her son Andre Aderemi died in August 2016, he was 19 years old. He had quarreled with other boys, he was the victim of a revenge. " A friend tells me that something serious has happened, someone has been stabbed. I rush, I see the police lines, my son is lying in the grass. I yell that I'm the mom, but I can't come near, they say they're trying to save him. I get into the police car, we follow the ambulance, I see everything going on through the window, I can't breathe. I’ll learn later that during the trip my son had three cardiac arrests. At the hospital, I remember the wait, the announcement of his death, I collapse and I cry. Andre received 14 or 15 stab wounds, he died because he drained his blood. "

The fashion of Rambo "knives"

The audience applauded soberly. Mme Hughes, professor at a college in Croydon, says that she had to relearn how to live with her two other sons. Four boys in their twenties were convicted of the murder of Andre. She launched an association, Yourcitysaysno, "To understand why children can commit such crimes", even if, three and a half years later, she is not "Still ready for forgiveness".

Other parents are now experiencing this drama with desperate frequency. London bleeds almost every day. Not all injuries are fatal, but they are traumatic for victims and their loved ones. Between 2018 and 2019, 4,300 assaults involving knife wounds were reported in London, according to the Metropolitan Police (Met, Greater London Police). No neighborhood is spared: gentrified suburbs north of Stratford, residential corners west, between Wembley and Harrow, and even the heart of Westminster.


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