A man has been stabbed in front of Christmas shoppers on a busy London street in broad daylight, as the capital continues to struggle with rising knife violence.
Eyewitnesses reported seeing a young man suddenly set on by a group of assailants along Chiswick High Street, west London, on Friday morning, before police and paramedics arrived at the scene to rush the victim to hospital with knife wounds.
A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said: “Police were called at around 11.23am on Friday (December 21) to reports of a stabbing in Chiswick High Road, Turnham Green.
“Officers attended along with the London Ambulance Service.
“A man, believed to be in his 20s, was at the scene with stab injuries. He has been taken to hospital — we await an update on his condition.”
#ResponseTeamA are dealing with a stabbing on Chiswick High Road with assistance from @Ldn_Ambulance @LDNairamb please avoid the area. If you saw anything please let us know. pic.twitter.com/VIEc2l1cV0
— Hounslow MPS (@MPSHounslow) December 21, 2018
Speaking to the Mirror Online, an eyewitness said: “It happened outside the Luna Cafe, the man bought something and then someone attacked him out on the street.
“It all happened so quickly, we didn’t even realise he’d been stabbed. People rushed to help and called the police and the ambulance.”
One witness wrote on Twitter: “Holy sh**, someone got stabbed on the Chiswick High Street while I was shopping,” before posting a follow-up message offering prayers to the victim, who the tweet says was stabbed “almost immediately after leaving” one of the street’s cafés.
Using the hashtags #frustrated and #knifecrime, another Twitter user commented that the attack had taken place in a “nice part of west London, tidy middle class high street, middle of the day and festive season… Makes no difference at all”.
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The British government was responsible for the attack, according to Chiswick resident Milaad Rajai, who told local media: “Austerity measures and other Tory policies mean all this blood is on the hands of the government.
“If you close police stations, cut numbers of police in the area and take away education maintenance allowance, as well whatever opportunities kids can have to go to university by pushing up fees, what you eventually get is an unstable society where crime pays more than other things,” he said.
Rajai’s commentary on Friday’s stabbing echoed talking points favoured by London mayor Sadiq Khan, who has been repeatedly challenged as crime in the multicultural city has surged under his watch.
With homicides reaching their highest point in a decade, the past 12 months have seen Khan’s approval rating plummet to its lowest on record. But, blaming “police cuts” for rising crime, the Labour politician has rejected calls for a law and order approach to tackling offenders — instead insisting that violence must be treated as a “public health crisis”.
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