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Murder investigation after man stabbed in London

The victim, thought to have been in his 20s, was pronounced dead at the scene in Kentish Town.

Police activity in Kentish Town after a man was stabbed to death (John Stillwell/PA Wire)
Police activity in Kentish Town after a man was stabbed to death (John Stillwell/PA Wire)

Police have launched a murder investigation after a man believed to have been in his 20s was stabbed.

Officers said they found the victim with stab injuries in Kentish Town, north-west London, after being called at about 8.30pm on Monday.

He was pronounced dead at the scene near the junction of Grafton Road and Vicars Road, despite the efforts of medics.

The killing came on the same day the Prime Minister hosted a summit on knife crime at Downing Street.

Theresa May said the issue is “deep-seated” and will require a cross-society effort to tackle it.

However, police officers, teachers and nurses criticised Government plans to make them accountable for failing to “spot warning signs” of violent crime among young people.

“We cannot simply arrest ourselves out of this problem,” Mrs May said.

The summit was convened after days of violence across the country, including a slew of serious stabbings in Edmonton, north London, from Saturday night into Sunday morning, as well as the death of a 40-year-old motorist at the wheel of his vehicle in Clapham, south-west London, and a 29-year-old fatally stabbed on Thursday afternoon in Toxteth, Liverpool.

Hours later and police were responding to another fatal stabbing in the capital.

A friend of the Kentish Town victim told the Evening Standard: “He was loved. He has everyone out here, every culture in the area was out for him.

“He’s not lived his life yet.”

No arrests have been made in connection with the killing.

While formal identification is yet to take place, the man’s next-of-kin have been informed.

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Police activity near the junction of Grafton Road and Vicars Road after the fatal stabbing (John Stillwell/PA)

A post-mortem examination is due to be carried out.

Anyone with information can contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

Police tape blocked off the crime scene, where a blue police tent sat in the middle of the road.

A small group of floral tributes were placed beneath a row of small candles by the manned police cordon.

A message attached to a bouquet of white flowers read: “Long time I haven’t seen you but it was always love when I did. Rest easy bro.”

A message on another floral tribute said: “Always in our hearts. Going to miss you my bro. To the young king. Gone but never forgotten.”

There was a strong presence of uniformed officers including a group who could be seen looking around a children’s play area and into bushes and window boxes near Vicar’s Road.

A woman, who would not give her name but said she was the victim’s cousin, said: “He was not like other bits around here. He had a good home, a good girlfriend and he had things going for him.

“Everyone (friends and family) was down here last night.

“He was not the sort of boy to get into trouble. He kept himself to himself.”

She said she saw him the previous day when he was outside talking to neighbours about how much weight he had lost and how he was looking forward to the summer.

She said his father died more than a year ago and he had lost a lot of weight then.

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Police activity near the Grafton Road junction with Vicars Road after the fatal stabbing of a man in his 20s.

Shocked mother-of-four Stephanie Phillips, 28, said she knew the victim when he was young, and described the current threat of knife crime as “petrifying”.

She said: “I knew him when he was a child. He was just a normal child. I remember when he was young he loved sports. He loved life. He was always dancing and singing and smiling.

“It (the killings) feels like it is never going to stop until the police do something about it. There has got to be something done. They just need to be caught and for something to be done about it.”

Ms Phillips, of Highgate, north London, added that “it feels like something that someone from another area must have done because people in this area would not do this to people from the area”.

She added: “It also terrifying as well. I do not want my children growing up here. It is awful. It is not a nice place at the moment. It used to be a lovely community.”

A volunteer at the Church of St Martin, which is close to the scene, said: “There is shock and you just think ‘when will it ever end?’.”

The woman, in her 60s, who would only give her name as Margaret, said: “It (the killings) is just not in the inner city, it can be anywhere.

“Life is not precious to the young ones. It is just tragic. I am sorry for the family.

“It is not tackled enough. There is not enough police. It feels like there is another life gone and that is it, but I also feel you could have said the same 10 years ago.

“It could be anybody this happens to – it is just a situation where it is ‘there but for the grace of God’ as you could be just innocently walking down the road for something to happen.”

Claude Mampuila, 54, who said he was the victim’s uncle, said the family – originally from Congo – had “lost someone special”.

He said: “We cannot believe it. He was someone special for our family.

“He was always laughing, dancing and happy with people. He was not any trouble and very good.

“At the moment we are not coping very well. We are sad at the moment.

“The family came here from the Congo for protection – there was a war there – and now this has happened in London.

“We were thinking if you come to this country you are protected, but it is not safe at all.”

PA

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