A 15-year-old was receiving treatment for life-threatening knife wounds yesterday after being attacked in the same north London road where a student was stabbed to death last week.
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The residents of College Close in Edmonton expressed their shock at having a second trail of blood marking their street yesterday, while still struggling to comprehend the mindless violence that led to the death of 21-year-old Steven Grisales exactly a week before.
Police were in the road investigating the tragic death of Mr Grisales, a budding architect who was knifed in the heart after confronting a group of youths throwing conkers at him, when the 15-year-old was attacked in a playground at the end of the cul-de-sac at 6.50pm on Wednesday .
Hazel Nelson-Williams, a local teacher who runs a voluntary foundation against knife crime, said: "To hear that it happened while police were here handing out leaflets and looking for witnesses to Steven's death is horrific." A third stabbing occurred just an hour later in nearby Victoria Road, leading to a man in his 50s being taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Two men have been arrested for the attack on the 15-year-old, identified locally as Andre Yardie. Meanwhile, police searching for three black males in their late teens to early 20s have so far arrested and bailed five people in connection with Mr Grisales' death.
The spate of attacks is the latest of many stabbings that have blighted Edmonton, part of the London borough of Enfield, this year. In April, 15-year-old Negus McClean was stabbed and killed little more than a mile away from College Close. Last month a 14-year-old from Edmonton died after being knifed in a park in nearby Ponders End.
Enfield's Borough Commander, Chief Superintendent David Tucker, said officers were "working hard to piece together what happened and trace those responsible".
"At this stage there is no direct link between the two stabbing incidents and we retain an open mind regarding a possible link between the murder of Steven Grisales and the incident in College Close," he added.
Acting to reassure residents that "Enfield remains a safe borough", he added: "Crime in Enfield has fallen over the last eight years and we have seen the most significant reductions in violent offences and serious assaults as well as gun and knife crime."
Many residents are not convinced, however. One 25-year-old man, who did not want to be named, told The Independent he was a friend of Bakari Davis, a 24-year-old who died in 2008 after being stabbed in the back in Edmonton Green.
"I used to carry a spanner as a weapon inside my sleeves out of fear," he said. "I had a knife pulled on me a couple of times but I never felt they intended to stab me – there was a threat of violence but no real action upon it – but now it seems that stabbings are commonplace.
"It just seems to be spontaneous indiscriminate violence – it's not necessarily gang members stabbing other gang members, and it makes you question standing up for other people."
One woman, who lived in the area for a decade before being rehoused for her own safety earlier this year after acting as a witness to a violent mugging, said she would not set foot in Upper Edmonton again "in a million years".
"It's very rough," she said. "They'd sell drugs in the stairwell of my flat – sometimes there would be needles down there – and when they run out of money for drugs they rob people.
"The boys act like they are gangsters, but these are little kids – 15 or 16. They hang around with their friends and when they see a different face they gang up on them and take stuff from them. All my friends and cousins used to get scared when they'd come and visit us. They'd see the gangs on the stairs. The police are afraid of them too."Reuse content