Tributes left to two teens stabbed in London within 24 hours

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Tributes have been paid to two teenagers who were fatally stabbed on the streets of London within 24 hours.

Flowers were laid near Clapham South Tube station in memory of a 17-year-old killed there on Friday.

Less than a day earlier, 15-year-old Jay Hughes was pounced on in a "premeditated attack" near a chicken shop in Bellingham, south-east London.

His family paid tribute to him as "very bright and brilliant at art".

Watch: Former Metropolitan Police officer Chris Hobbs tells Julia Hartley-Brewer the UK is in the 'bottom of the league' for police officers per person

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the teenagers' deaths were "a terrible waste of young lives", as he offered his condolences to their families.

The fatalities came as debate continues over the effect of police budget cuts and what officers should focus their limited resources on.

Meanwhile, police said two teenage boys were shot from a car in the Handsworth area of Birmingham on Friday night.

West Midlands Police said a 15-year-old is in a stable condition in hospital after being shot in the back, while a 14-year-old was hit in the arm.


Police cuts

Tributes near Clapham South tube station, where a boy was stabbed on Friday. Image: PA

Jay was attacked near the Morley's chicken shop in Randlesdown Road, Bellingham, at about 5.20pm on Thursday.

His aunt, 32-year-old Rochelle, said he went out "to get some food and he never came back", the Evening Standard reported.

"He loved riding his mountain bike, was very bright and brilliant at art. He wanted to be a cartoonist," she added.

The attack on the 17-year-old, who has not yet been formally identified, happened at about 4.35pm on Friday near the south-west London Underground station.

Purple flowers wishing the boy "lots of love" were left near the scene.

Scotland Yard have yet to make any arrests over the latest two fatalities, which bring the homicide tally in the capital to 115 this year, 19 of them teenagers.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said on Friday that "stretched" forces must priorities serious violence and drug gangs rather than non-criminal acts of misogyny.

She said officers "can't go on increasing the scale of the mission" without further funding as she indicated that other offences, such as online fraud, were lower priority.

The London Mayor has previously blamed rising violence on £700 million cuts to the Met's budget over seven years, with more expected to come.

Official figures released earlier in October show police forces in England and Wales registered a total of 5.6 million offences in the year to June.

It is the highest total for police-recorded crime since the year ending March 2005, and a 9% rise in comparison to the previous 12 months.