Posted: 13.10.21 at 08:31 by Rory Poulter
Residents have spoken of their shock and sadness at the fatal stabbing of an 18-year-old late yesterday afternoon, which appears to have been filmed by young onlookers on smartphones.
The police have asked witnesses involved not to share the footage out of respect for the family of the victim.
MP Munira Wilson, the council leader, Gareth Roberts, and the police chief for south west London have moved to offer their condolences to the family of the teenager.
At the same time the police are, this morning, carrying out patrols in the area to offer reassurance and advice to residents around the area where the attack took place – Craneford Way playing fields.
The site of the killing is close to Richmond College, which has been at the centre of violence in the past, and a number of students have expressed fears about their safety.
It is not known if any students from the college were involved in the tragedy, however there is history of antagonism with local residents and youngsters.
Earlier this year the two local MPs, Munira Wilson, the Richmond Park MP, Sarah Olney, and the council leader issued a joint plea to the London mayor to appoint more police officers across the Richmond borough following increasing concerns about violence,
Munira Wilson described the death as ‘tragic news’. She added: ‘My thoughts and prayers are with the family of the teenager who lost his life’
The council leader, Mr Roberts, said: ‘This is incredibly sad news. This borough has a well-deserved reputation for being a safe borough, therefore incidents like this tend to stand out.
‘I hope those responsible will be brought to justice.’
The ward councillor for the area where the stabbing took place is Alexander Ehmann He said: ‘Deeply saddened to hear this dreadful news from on our doorstep.
‘In coming days I will be asking what police actions are being considered to reassure residents at this uncertain and worrying time. Of course my immediate thoughts are with bereaved family.’
This morning, the police said that officers and the London Ambulance Service (LAS) were called at 4.45pm on Tuesdayb to reports of a stabbing in Craneford Way, Twickenham.
They found an 18-year-old man who is believed to have sustained knife wounds. He was taken by LAS to an outer London hospital where he was pronounced dead at 5.45pm.
His next of kin are aware and are being supported by specialist officers. This morning a crime scene and cordons remain in place and at this early stage there have been no arrests.
Detective Chief Inspector Vicky Tunstall said: “The incident occurred in a playing field area and was witnessed by a number of people. Some of those people are believed to have filmed events as they unfolded; I ask that any videos are not shared via social media to avoid causing the young man’s family any more distress at this already incredibly difficult time for them.
“Instead, please go to the police immediately. A number of people have spoken to us, but we need to hear from anyone who has information that could help.
“We’re working to establish the motive behind this tragic incident and following a number of leads. If you believe you can help us, then please make contact.”
Chief Superintendent Elisabeth Chapple, commander for policing in south-west London, said: “Our thoughts are with the young victim and his family at this awful time. No young person should lose their life in London and we will do all we can to support out colleagues with their investigation.
“Local residents can expect to see an increased police presence in the area. If anyone has any concerns, or information that could help, I encourage them to contact those officers and tell us what they know.”
Anyone who witnessed this incident or has footage is asked to call police on 101 or Tweet @MetCC quoting 5697/12OCT.
Information can also be provided to Crimestoppers, anonymously, by calling 0800 555 111 or visiting here.
Twickenham police said: ‘Officers have been out on foot conducting high visibility patrols in the vicinity of Richmond College this morning and will be meeting with college staff today.
‘These patrols will continue throughout the day and for the rest of the week to provide reassurance to the students.’
Initial reports that those involved in the fatal stabbing were playing football have been denied.
A police spokesman said: ‘There were people playing football/ coaching rugby in the vicinity but these were unrelated to the incident.’
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