Police appeal for calm after racist murder: Third teenager killed in London borough

POLICE appealed for calm in the London borough of Greenwich last night after the murder of a black schoolboy.

Stephen Lawrence was the third teenager from an ethnic minority to be stabbed to death in the borough in just over two years. All the killings involved groups of white youths.

Stephen, 18, and a schoolfriend were attacked by a group of four to six youths as they waited for a bus late at night in Eltham, south-east London. Police said racial abuse had been shouted just before the stabbing.

Stephen lived in Woolwich Common and was studying for A-levels at Blackheath Bluecoat school. He wanted to be an architect. His family and friends said yesterday that he always avoided trouble. 'He wasn't into fighting one bit; he would avoid it,' his father Neville said.

There had been three near-fatal racial stabbings of black people in the borough this year before Stephen's murder late on Thursday. The Metropolitan Police staff a permanent racial attack incident room at Plumstead.

Yesterday as Stephen's friends spoke of seeking out the killers for revenge, Chief Superintendent John Philpott of the Metropolitan Police in Plumstead said: 'We would ask young people to be sensible . . . we have a racist problem in this area but we aim to tackle it.' Police patrols were being stepped up, he added.

Rolan Adams was killed in nearby Thamesmead in February 1991 and buried on his 16th birthday. Stephen took part in campaigns to raise money for his family and to protest against racial attacks. In July last year, Rohit Duggal, a 16-year-old Asian, was stabbed to death in Well Hall Road - the same Eltham street where Stephen was knifed. Two youths are serving terms of life imprisonment.

The Greenwich Action Committee Against Racist Attacks and the Commission for Racial Equality yesterday called for a meeting with the Home Secretary, Kenneth Clarke, and the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Paul Condon.

Dev Barrah, the committee's co-ordinator, said bad housing and high unemployment had made the area a breeding ground for racism. The British National Party has set up its headquarters in nearby Welling and campaigns and recruits in the area. He called for the party to be expelled.

Stephen, who was on his way home from visiting his uncle, tried to make an escape but collapsed, bleeding heavily, after running a short distance. Surgeons failed to resuscitate him at the nearby Brook Hospital - one of two stab wounds had severed an artery. 'It appears that it is a racial murder by the remarks that were made,' said Detective Chief Inspector Bill Ilsley, who heads the murder inquiry. He appealed for a man and a woman who got off a No 286 bus just before the attack to contact the police.

(Photograph omitted)

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Experienced Bookkeeper - German Speaking - Part Time

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This firm of accountants based ...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

£30000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a financial services c...

Ashdown Group: Field Service Engineer

£30000 - £32000 per annum + car allowance and on call: Ashdown Group: A succes...

Recruitment Genius: Sales & Marketing Co-Ordinator

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Well established small company ...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence