Another life wasted on the streets of Tower Hamlets. 23-year-old Alimuz Zaman died as a result of his injuries at the Royal London hospital yesterday evening after being stabbed in an assault earlier in the day St Paul’s Way.
Two in custody
Two suspects have been arrested and remain in custody.
Tower Hamlets police said that Alimuz, date of birth 19/12/1995, died as a result of multiple stab wounds and a possible fractured skull incurred in the attack in E3. A post-mortem examination will be held in due course.
The second victim of the attack, who has not been named, suffered a stab wound to his lower left arm and is expected to make a full recovery according to the police.
“How many more young people like Alimuz have to die before London gets to grips with knife crime? I will not say enough is enough because even one death like this is one too many,” said Cllr. Rabina Khan (Liberal Democrat, Shadwell).
“Parents should not have to live in fear when their children leave home that they may never see them again. London is a capital city, not a war zone.”
Cllr. Khan has supported parents whose teenage children have been at risk of knife related incidents and those whose children have been murdered and so understands the reality of these crimes.
Avoid St Paul’s Way crime scene
The St Paul’s Way crime scene remains cordoned off today as Metropolitan Police Homicide detectives carry out their work supported by borough officers.
The police understand the disruption the crime scene cordon will cause to local residents, especially with it being a Bank Holiday Monday, and it will do all they can to reduce the size of the crime scene.
In the meantime it might be a sensible idea for everyone to use alternatives routes to St Paul’s Way until such time as the police have done their work and the cordon is lifted.
The police need your help
Once again the police need residents help and urge any witnesses to the crime or anyone with information to call the police via 101 quoting CAD 5291/May26.
Alternatively if you wish to remain anonymous, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or use the Crimestoppers Online Form.
Yesterday’s brutal murder of Alimuz Zaman is the worst type of proof that more needs to be done to stop the continuing slaughter of London’s youth.
LW has no more knowledge of the circumstances of this death than any other member of the public, but viewing the video of the stabbing’s aftermath we were struck by how ordinary the victim and his friends looked.
This can happen to anyone’s son or daughter. It has happened multiple times and unless there is a radical change in London’s approach to knife crime more of our youth will die needlessly.
The image below from the @MPSTowerHam account shows the types of knives seized on a routine basis.
Another successful drugs warrant in @MPSShadwell by the #VCTF #Syn2 Two arrested for possession with intent to supply cocaine and heroin and a number of weapons removed from the address #livesnotknives #opsceptre pic.twitter.com/fEWgPLh3PW
— Tower Hamlets Police (@MPSTowerHam) May 17, 2019
Glasgow’s example of taking a public health approach to knife crime must be fully implemented and funded across our capital.
Although there are no indications that the murder of Alimuz Zaman was gang-related, the key to the public health approach to knife crime is realising that gang-related stabbings are not just a policing issue but a public health issue.
Even if this is properly implemented it will be several years before the benefits of the public health approach to knife crime are fully realised. And in the meantime our youth will still die on our streets.
More coppers = less knife crime
That means an immediate and significant increase in the number of police officers in the capital. The Metropolitan Police has already had some success with the increased use of targeted stop and search but they simply do not have enough officers.
The equation is simple. Less police officers on the streets equals more stabbings on the streets.
It is not about greater efficiencies in policing, it is not about better organisation of the police that we do have, it is about having lots more coppers.
At the moment too often they are reduced to providing an immediate response to the most serious crimes because they just do not have enough personnel to do anything else.
Families, especially parents, must also be held to account if they fail to monitor what their children are doing. If that means parents have to search their kids bedrooms for knives then so be it.
Perhaps the most important way to take action against knife crime is one that we can all do.
Challenge those who claim to represent us
We must all, as a community and as individuals, challenge our elected representatives and demand they show us what they are doing to fight knife crime.
In Tower Hamlets statistics show that the authorities are incapable of dealing with Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB). This raises the question of how they have any realistic chance of tackling knife crime.
The weaknesses in Tower Hamlets Council’s Children’s Safeguarding Services and Local Safeguarding Children’s Board highlighted by Ofsted remain an issue for the borough.
“In 2017 the London Borough of Tower Hamlets underwent an Ofsted review of its Children’s Services and one of the recommendations that arose was that the Council should “Urgently improve the quality and timeliness of services for children who are at risk of becoming involved in gangs and serious youth violence. Ensure the alignment of those services with those for children who go missing and those who are vulnerable to sexual exploitation and radicalisation. Ensure that comprehensive and accurate intelligence and data inform service developments.”
Source: Tower Hamlets Council: Gangs and Serious Youth Violence Scrutiny Review Report March 2018
Sad to realise that is children’s services who have responsibility for dealing with those vulnerable to knife crime.
Tower Hamlets InterFaith Forum (THIFF) are holding a meeting to discuss knife crime on 6th June 2019 at Mulberry and Bigland Green Centre. You can follow them on Twitter as @THInterFaith
There is also a meeting on 13th June 2019 organised by the Met Police on gangs, youth violence and knife crime at the Aviva Digital Garage, 33-35 Hoxton Square, Hackney, N1 6NN between 5 pm and 8 pm.
For more information please contact Louise Horgan at Louise.Horgan@met.pnn.police.uk