A man in his late teens was slashed to death with a machete in broad daylight in central London, as violent crime levels return to pre-lockdown levels in the capital.
The teen was hacked to death at around 5:30 on Monday evening, close to Oxford Street, one of the busiest shopping streets in the country.
A witness on social media said that he saw a machete-wielding man running down Oxford Street, presumably after attacking his teenage victim, the London Evening Standard reported.
“Someone was running down the middle of Oxford Street in broad daylight on a Saturday with a machete, chasing someone,” the witness said, adding: “And now police everywhere because this is London!”
In a statement, the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) said: “Police were called at 5:38 pm to reports of an assault. Officers attended and found a male, aged in his late teens, suffering from a stab injury.”
“He was taken by the London Ambulance Service to a central London hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 7:33 pm,” the MPS added.
According to The Times, police arrested three men in connection to the brazen and brutal attack. The identities of the victim and those detained have not been made public at the time of this reporting.
The latest stabbing in the capital comes as crime has returned to pre-Chinese coronavirus lockdown levels, with 17 people being murdered in London in July, the highest number of monthly homicides this year.
Violent crime in London as a whole rose to above-average rates in June as well, The Guardian reported.
A similar trend was witnessed by West Midlands police, who reported that in June, violent crime rose to its highest level in a year, and 17 per cent higher than June of 2019.
The police and crime commissioner for West Midlands police, David Jamieson. said that crime is “bouncing back” and that “it almost feels like the criminals are playing catch-up”.
“My greatest concern is the trajectory; I am worried that it won’t plateau at this level,” Jamieson said.
“I have profound concerns that we will have a mass of younger people who are unemployed who become available to do things like crime. I’m also concerned about children who have missed masses of their schooling – for some children six months of their education has been lost,” he warned.
Meanwhile, the leftist mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, blamed the government for failing to adequately provide social care for disadvantaged youths in the capital, and that as a result there could be “a real risk of violent crime spiking as lockdown is eased”.
Despite the crime wave that has engulfed London during his tenure, Khan has proposed cutting some £110 million in budget cuts to the Metropolitan Police, the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC), the fire brigade, and other public services.
The move has been justified by tax collection shortfalls as a result of the Chinese coronavirus.
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