A young man was stabbed in Central London on Sunday just yards from where the BAFTA television awards were due to take place hours later.
The man in his twenties was stabbed at 4pm on the terrace of the National Theatre near the Royal Festival Hall where Sunday evening’s television British Academy awards were held.
Police said the victim was taken to hospital; his condition is unknown and there have been no arrests.
The incident took place in the popular Southbank area along the River Thames which is home to theatres, several bars, and notable tourist attractions such as the London Eye.
An eye-witness told the Evening Standard he saw emergency services “take on a stretcher a young black man from the 1st floor”.
“He seemed to have been hurt on the chest. He had a bandage there with blood and he was led away. He seemed conscious,” he said.
“Then it was crazy because of the BAFTAs you had all these people in nice dresses and clothes.”
“I heard it was a stabbing. Couldn’t believe it as it’s central London… but again it doesn’t seem safe anywhere,” he added.
President Trump Highlights Deadly Knife Crime Epidemic in Khan’s London: ‘It’s Like a War Zone’ https://t.co/nuwlP1HVK1
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 5, 2018
Other eyewitnesses reported seeing Air Ambulance, armed police, and fire services at the scene following the daylight attack.
Last month, official statistics revealed that there has been a 22 per cent surge in knife crime across the country – putting the offence at its highest recorded level – with incidences “disproportionately concentrated in London” and other cities.
Under the leadership of Labour’s Mayor Sadiq Khan, homicides in London rose by 27.1 per cent – youth homicide jumping by 70 per cent – and serious youth violence was up 19 per cent. The nation’s capital has so far seen 62 people killed in violent crime, 36 who were fatally stabbed, in 2018.
Despite knife crime in London pushing epidemic levels – after the city overtook New York City for murders for the first time in 200 years – Mayor Khan dismissed criticisms of his handling of law and order, insisting last week that he has “done nothing wrong”.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) May 13, 2018
Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage criticised Khan on Fox News on Sunday for his response to crime in London and for failing to give police “real powers”.
“What we’ve seen is a 44 per cent increase, year on year, in the capital. It’s mostly knife crime. It’s mostly associated with gangs. It is mostly black-on-black crime although nobody has got the courage to say that for fear of being thought to be racist.
“Our police force, which used to carry out stop and search… have unfortunately backed out from doing that, again, for fear of being called racist.
“And the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, who spends much of his time attacking Donald Trump or telling us we shouldn’t eat burgers – think about this: over 60 people killed in the capital already this year. And the Mayor of London has not visited a single one of those crime scenes or spoken to any of the families.
“Frankly what we’ve got to do with crime in London is get tougher and the Mayor needs to rethink his priorities,” Mr. Farage said.
“It’s this fear that if you tackle a problem head on you get called racist for doing so.
“We’ve got to bury this rubbish… With crime in London, if we got tough on the offenders it’s black lives we’d save,” he added.