Two dead in shocking night of violence across Camden
Police ask community to help prevent 'retaliatory action'
21 February, 2018 — By William McLennan
TWO young men have been stabbed to death in Camden within the space of an hour, with reports of several other attacks throughout the night.
A 17-year-old boy was attacked with a knife in Kentish Town, near the Peckwater estate, at 8:30pm. He was pronounced dead 30 minutes later, just yards from the shrine to a 19-year-old who was killed on Sunday.
Police have not formally identified the boy, but he has been named locally as Abdikarim Hassan.
A second young man, Sadiq Aadam, was stabbed to death in Malden Road, Queen’s Crescent, at around 10pm.
The 20-year-old is the brother of Mohamed Aadam, also 20, who was murdered in Hampstead Road in September. Their cousin, Mohamed Abdullahi, was murdered in 2013 aged 20.
The crime scene in Malden Road
A second youngster was reportedly injured in Malden Road in what was described as a frenzied attack, although police said they had no record of this.
It is believed murder detectives, who are in the early stages of their investigation, are treating the two killings as linked. Both victims are believed to be children of Camden’s Somalian community.
A third stabbing took place in Aldenham Street, Somers Town, at 8:30pm. A 16-year-old was hospitalised “non-life threatening” knife wounds.
The crime scene in Somers Town
Witnesses have reported seeing the suspects, with their faces covered by bandanas, arriving at the attacks in a van.
Police are carrying out extra patrols and officers have been given emergency powers to stop and search anyone, without the need for “reasonable grounds” of suspicion. Known as Section 60 order, it is a measure often introduced after serious flare-ups of youth violence and means anyone in the area can be detained and frisked.
A dispersal zone is in place across Camden, giving police the powers to move people out of public areas.
Police closed Islip Street in Kentish Town
Police are looking into multiple reports of other stabbings across Camden, although only the two fatal attacks are currently being investigated.
There were reports on social media of up to six attacks taking place within the space of a few hours on Tuesday night.
Inspector Paul Clarke said: “There will be an increased police presence and an increase in the activity of the gangs unit to reduce the possibility that any one may consider retaliatory action.
“If anyone in the community knows anything about the incidents or the possibility of any ongoing occurrences they should contact police and let us know so that we can help to save lives before this kind of tragedy is repeated.”
In Kentish Town, paramedics and police officers battled to save the boy’s life on the pavement at the junction of Islip Street and Bartholomew Road. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Neighbours said that the 17-year-old lived with his family on the nearby Peckwater estate, where a shrine was built on Sunday night in the memory of 19-year-old Lewis Blackman, who was murdered in West London.
The shrine was built next to one in the memory of his friend, Nuno Cardoso, a law student who died after collapsing in a police van in December.
Flowers to Nuno Cardoso and Lewis Blackman
The community centre on the Peckwater estate was opened up late tonight to provide shelter for the relatives of the latest victim, who have gathered at the scene. A group of around 50 friends and family were at the scene.
Cressida Dick, the Met police commissioner, said on Wednesday morning: “I have spoken all too often at the anger I feel at the senseless waste of life. Today, two more families are suffering a terrible loss and my thoughts are with them.
“The frequency with which some of our young people are prepared to take each other’s lives is shocking. For two young men to be murdered so close together – both in time and geography – makes this even harder to comprehend.”
She added: “We will not police our way out of this problem. There is a role for all of us – London’s public, our partners and the police.
“There will be young people out today who are carrying knives – stop and think. Do you really want your life to end? Or end someone else’s and waste your own life in prison?
“Whoever you are, if you have information, if you know another young person who is going out with a knife then help us protect them. Tell us. We will act.”
Keir Starmer, Holborn and St Pancras MP, said: “The deaths of two young people in Camden last night is truly shocking. My thoughts are with the victims, their families and to all those affected at this difficult time.
“Violence has no place on our streets and these crimes are a reminder that we must continue to do all we can to keep our community safe.
“That’s why I will be working with the Metropolitan Police, Camden Council and all relevant authorities to reassure our communities and discuss what more needs to be done.”