A recent victim of London’s knife crime epidemic was “just minding his own business”, his father has said.
The 17-year-old, named locally as Nedim Bilgin, became the fourth person to die as a result of knife crime in the capital this year on January 29.
A week later, police were called to Wolsey Court, off Westbridge Road in Battersea, where they found a 19-year-old man with stab wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The killings come as figures reveal London’s homicide rate surged to the highest in a decade last year, with 132 deaths recorded – and there are fears among councils, police and communities that 2019 will follow at a similar rate.
According to the Office for National Statistics, a total of 14,847 knife offences were recorded in the city during the 12 months to the end of September 2018. The findings also revealed more than 40 blade offences were committed in London every single day.
And within the first six hours of 2019, two lives were claimed in separate knife attacks, setting a bleak precedent for the weeks to follow.
In the wake of these incidents, and as police battle to gain control of an escalating problem, HuffPost UK will be keeping track of events sweeping the streets of London in the coming months.
1 January: Tudor Simionov
Bouncer Tudor Simionov’s life was the second claimed by knife crime within hours of 2019 beginning – outside a New Year’s Eve party in Mayfair.
Simionov, 33, was set upon by gatecrashers at around 5.30am while working as a doorman at a £12.5m central London townhouse. Just half an hour later, he was dead.
He moved to the UK just eight weeks prior to the incident in pursuit of a “better life”, his girlfriend Madalina Anghel told The Evening Standard.
Haroon Akram, 25, was arrested and charged with the murder, four counts of grievous bodily harm and one count of violent disorder, Scotland Yard said.
Two other men – Adham Khalil, 20, and Adham Elshalakany, 23 – were later arrested and charged with the same offences. All three men were remanded in custody.
8 January: Jaden Moodie
The 14-year-old was stabbed after being knocked off a moped in Leyton, east London, after a group of men in a black Mercedes rammed into him in what police described as a targeted attack.
Five men were in the vehicle – which had been reported stolen before being later recovered by officers – before three of them got out and stabbed him more than seven times.
The schoolboy is believed to be the youngest knife crime victim to die in London in the past year.
Moodie had recently moved to the capital from Nottingham and, delivering a statement at the crime scene, his cousin Leon Green said: “If there are people in our streets that are capable of killing a 14-year-old child, then no-one is safe, and they need to be caught and brought to justice.”
Ayoub Majdouline, 18, was arrested and charged with Moodie’s murder.
29 January: Nedim Bilgin
At around 6.49pm, officers responded to a report of an assault in Caledonian Road in north London.
A 17-year-old, named as Nedim Bilgin, was found with multiple stab wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Three teenagers initially arrested were released on bail.
An 18-year-old man was later arrested on suspicion of murder and a man, 22, was being held on suspicion of assisting an offender.
Met Police Temporary Chief Superintendent Nick Davies said: “Tragically the local community is now coming to terms with the senseless loss of life of a young man who had everything to live for. This teenage victim lived in Islington.
“The investigation continues apace. My officers and those from the Homicide and Major Crime Command are carrying out a number of detailed forensic and CCTV footage-related inquiries.
“I completely understand the alarm and concern it has raised from those who live and work in the area. I would urge anyone with information on the attack to contact police without delay.”
5 February: Lejean Richards
Police were called to Wolsey Court, off Westbridge Road, Battersea in south west London at 7.52pm to reports of a stabbing.
Officers attended, along with the London Ambulance Service.
The victim, named as 19-year-old Lejean Richards, was found with stab injuries. Despite the efforts of paramedics, he died at the scene at 8.36pm.
The men, aged 19 and 27, were arrested after presenting themselves at a central London hospital.
Both were taken to separate central London police stations for questioning.