Stabbing, a sad daily in London

The scourge has been going on for years and is getting so bad that the media is talking about an epidemic. The numbers are worrisome, such as the age of victims and perpetrators, young men, and even teenagers.

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Police secure the area after a knife attack near Smith Square in Westminster, London on August 15th. TOLGA AKMEN / AFP


A glance by chance over the past few days on the Nextdoor Neighborhood app, where locksmith addresses or tips on local public schools are exchanged. And then this message, dating from yesterday, October 24: "I just heard that two people were victims of a knife attack this morning in Kingsbury (North West London). I hope they are OK. Take care of yourself. " A single subscriber reaction on the application: a laconic " Times are hard ".

We check: the local newspaper confirms the information. The incident appears to have taken place around 10 am, not far from Kingsbury subway station, but the article online does not provide further details. It was a British time that morning, cool and rainy, in this typical suburb of the middle class, including a high proportion of families of Indo-Pakistani origin. A few blocks away, further west, in another quiet residential neighborhood, a 21-year-old man was stabbed in mid-July in a public park. Two local teenagers, 16 and 18, were arrested in the wake.

The stabbing has unfortunately nothing new in the UK. But this plague lasts and worsens, despite the many public initiatives of the last ten years. The media is now talking about an epidemic.

The numbers are worrying, as are the ages of the victims and criminals: mostly boys, teenagers or young adults. In a recent report (July 2019), the National Statistics Office records 47,000 knife assaults in England and Wales, of which 14,800 in the London metropolitan area alone over the last twelve months ended in March, the highest since the figures were collected in 2011. Over this period, 285 homicides were perpetrated with knives. (or bottle shards), accounting for 39% of all homicides in England and Wales.

Banalization of these crimes

Beyond the numbers, the most shocking is the trivialization of these crimes: the dramas often take place in front of fast-food restaurants, bus stops or public gardens. The public seems to get used to it. The local media speak about it, but the national ones very little: those, they are focused on the Brexit.

On 24 September, two men were stabbed to death within two hours in West London. Tashan Daniel, a 20-year-old sportsman, was assaulted on the subway platform at Hillingdon Station on his way to Emirates Stadium to watch an Arsenal football match. In Acton, a 22-year-old man also died after being attacked by a group of young people on a shopping street. "One of them was holding a big knife like the ones we see in Rambo's films," tells a witness of the aggression to theEvening Standard. These two dramas then carried to 111 investigations for murder on London since the beginning of the year.


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