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Man Fatally Stabbed in Alleged ‘Running Battle’ London Gang Turf War

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Adrian Dennis/AFP

A 16-year-old male has been arrested following the fatal stabbing of a man after an alleged turf “running battle” broke out between rival gangs in Edmonton, North London.

Scotland Yard confirmed that the teen was arrested on suspicion of murder and violent disorder after a 20-year-old man was fatally stabbed in the London borough of Enfield Wednesday evening.

Emergency services were called to Cavendish Road, Edmonton, at 6:33 pm following reports of men brawling with baseball bats and knives. Medics attended the victim, but he died at the scene at 7:20pm.

The Metropolitan Police has said that they are “retain[ing] an open mind as to motive”, but witnesses speaking to the Evening Standard said that gangs are fighting “running battles” in an ongoing turf warfare.

A resident told the London evening newspaper: “I saw three guys running. One had a T-shirt up over his face, one had no shirt on. There were hyped up and looked as though they were hunting for someone. It was frightening.”

“They were everywhere, there were fights all over the place it was running battles, absolute mayhem. The young man died near my house. We saw the body covered, it’s terrible,” another witness said.

The killing came the same day that one of London’s most senior police officers warned that knife crime had become more “feral” and violent in the capital in the past five years and that in some areas it is linked to the illegal drugs trade.

Recent research found that drug dealing gangs have become more organised, “business-orientated”, and ruthless, treating neighbourhoods as commercial marketplaces to be protected from competitors.

With the illegal drugs market getting to saturation in the city, London gangs have developed “county lines” – where drug mules transport their product out of the city and to towns in counties outlining the capital, often using women and children because of their lower criminal profile.

Not only are London gangs shipping drugs out to the rest of Britain, but violent crime, as well, as The Times reported Thursday a London teen who was shot in the back in a quiet neighbourhood in Norwich — 120 miles north-east of the capital — may have been a drug mule for a county line drug gang.

Under Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan’s watch, London saw a rise in knife crime of 31.3 per cent, and there have been more than 80 murder investigations opened by London’s police so far this year, putting the capital’s murder rate for 2018 on track to far outstrip the number of murder investigations opened in 2017, when 130 were launched.

The vast majority have been opened by the Metropolitan Police; however in April, when it was already examining 55 violent deaths, Scotland Yard handed over the murder of 53-year-old Babatunde Awofeso at a bookmakers in Upper Clapton Road, Hackney, to the City of London Police because it was struggling to cope.

The City of London Police – which typically deals with crime in the City of London, or ‘Square Mile’ – also launched its first murder investigation in three years following the death of aspiring actress Bethany-Maria Beales, 22, within the force’s jurisdiction.

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