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A 15-year-old boy stabbed to death in Croydon on Thursday was named and photographed for the first time, after the number of murders of teenagers in London reached a record 30 murders in a single year.
Zaian Aimable-Lina was attacked shortly after 7 p.m. in Ashburton Park, but died about half an hour after paramedics were unable to save him.
Yesterday, a 15-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of murder, before being released on bail on a date in late January.
Cause of Death
A post-mortem examination was carried out today which revealed Zaian’s cause of death as a stab wound to the heart.
Detective Chief Inspector Richard Leonard said: “My thoughts continue to be with Zaian’s family and friends as they deal with this tragic loss. My team continues to work 24 hours a day so that we can give Zaian’s family the answers they deserve.
‘Zaian’s death has caused a stir in the local community and in London in general. He was only 15 years old and his whole life ahead of him and we need the community to work with us to bring those responsible to justice. No matter how insignificant he may think it, if he has information that he can help, he should do the right thing and contact us immediately. ‘
Superintendent Dan Knowles of the Southern Area Command Unit, which watches over Croydon, said: ‘This tragic loss of a young life on our streets has rightly and understandably caused considerable concern among the local community.
“Our Crime Specialist colleagues are continuing their investigation and my officers are conducting enhanced patrols in the local area. I urge anyone who can help us to reach out to those officers and tell us what he knows.
Anyone with information should call the police through 101 citing the CAD reference 5443 / 30Dec. To remain anonymous, contact Crimestoppers at 0800555111.
His death came just minutes before police were called to report an injured man at the Philpotts Farm open space, near Heather Lane in Yiewsley, Hillingdon, west London.
The reasons behind the stabbings of the children are still unclear, but their deaths brought the number of teenagers killed in the capital last year to 30. The previous highest number was 29 in 2008.
The brutal new death record will inevitably put further pressure on Mayor Sadiq Khan, who this week claimed that stab crime in London has declined, to take control of the gang and the stabbing epidemic sweeping the streets of the capital. .
And activists against knife crime cautioned that not enough was being done to address the problem, as they criticized what they called London’s “scatter gun” approach.
Patrick Green, CEO of the Ben Kinsella Trust, which campaigns against knife crime, told MailOnline that he was not surprised by the record because “we’ve been going in this direction for quite some time.”
He said: ‘I can’t tell you that next year will be different, it will most likely get worse.
“This generation accepts knife crime as an integral part of growing up and that is completely unacceptable.
“ It shows that not enough has been done and if I am really critical I would say the approach to addressing it has been a trigger.
“We have to sustain our response to knife crime, it has to be long-term and not just with funding for one or two years for projects.
“It is a social problem that will continue unless it is properly addressed.”
The charity was founded in 2008, the same year London teenage homicides hit a record at the time, following the death of Ben Kinsella, who was just 16 when he was stabbed to death in Islington, north of London.
Green also echoed Commander Alex Murray’s request for parents to speak with their children to address the problem of knife crime.
He added that because one-to-one support for vulnerable youth was removed due to coronavirus lockdowns, children were much more susceptible to being recruited by gangs.
Green said that in February of last year many anti-knife campaign groups and the children’s commissioner highlighted concerns they had about the harm that the lockdowns would have on vulnerable children and “sadly those fears have come true.”
He said: “Thirteen years ago, as a charity, we set out to do everything we could to prevent this from happening to another family, but now we are back in a worse place.”
Green added that the organization would be responding to skyrocketing levels of knife crime by taking advantage of Sadiq Khan’s new London Crime Prevention Fund.
And he also highlighted the detrimental effect social media has on teens. He said: ‘We need to recognize the role that social media plays, and companies should step up to prevent children from becoming desensitized to violence.
“Much more needs to be done about this, not just an online damages bill.”
An 18-year-old who lives near the field where the 16-year-old was fatally stabbed in Hillingdon on Thursday night said he was not surprised by the incident and feels young people are carrying more and more knives.
Bradley Wicks, a University of Brighton student who was home in Hillingdon for Christmas, said: ‘I was away at the time and my mom called to ask if I was okay.
“ When the reports came out today and I saw that I was in that field around 8:30 p.m., it must have been completely dark there at the time, I had not heard anything else about it.
‘Hearing that it had happened was not a surprise, but very sad. Now he spends all his time in London.
“ I’ve never had a problem with anyone the whole time I’ve lived here, but you never know what you can get into.
“I think it’s getting worse, there are more and more people getting involved in this kind of thing and then people getting involved to protect themselves now as well.”
Anthony King, a community activist in Croydon, said: ‘It’s just heartbreaking. It just isn’t right. It’s 10 steps forward, 11 steps back.
‘I have made efforts to contact the family. At the moment they are going through a great tragedy. They’re going through the pain, they’re going through the tears.
‘My message is to Croydon, please work with the Metropolitan Police. I mainly speak yes to the black community.
‘I know that trust issues have been a big issue over the years. But we must partner with the Met Police and work hard and tirelessly to eradicate this diabolical problem.
“I also ask for all parents, caregivers, foster carers, social workers, if you suspect a knife is missing from the house, please search the child. Let an agency know. Try to get help. There are people who can help.
“There are young people who feel the need to protect themselves and this is a message for all children: please understand the pain of parents and siblings who have lost a child.”
Beryl St James, a street pastor who works with the local community, said: ‘I think people don’t recognize the ripple effect of this.
“It may seem like it was a child, but the effects will have a massive impact.
‘That family will suffer, the devastation, the pain. It could be your cousin, your loved one, your friend. There are people like me who advise the family, who work with the police, but there are other families who will sit back and cry.
“It is not just the death of one, it affects a lot of people.”
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he was devastated by the deaths of the two teenagers, but claimed that knife crime had decreased in the capital.
He said: ‘I am truly devastated by the death of a 15-year-old boy in Croydon and a 16-year-old boy in Hillingdon.
‘The senseless violence has once again resulted in the loss of two young people with their lives in front of them and my thoughts and prayers are with the families, friends and communities of the victims at this terrible time.
“I continue to be in close contact with the Metropolitan Police, which is doing everything possible to bring those responsible for these murders to justice. Anyone with information should contact the police or Crimestoppers anonymously. There is absolutely no honor in remaining silent.
“The reality is that social media platforms have a lot to answer for. In virtually every situation in which we have seen violence happen, there has been some kind of connection to an online platform in some form.
‘Why are these social media platforms unaccountable? Why are we so afraid of asking really tough questions, and why aren’t these social media platforms giving back more money to communities that are being affected by violence? ‘
Jon Yates, executive director of the Youth Endowment Fund (YEF), said there are three factors behind the rise in violence: an increase in the number of vulnerable children, for example cared for or excluded from school; increased pressure on services such as the police, mental health and youth work; and social media fuels conflict.
He added: ‘We don’t fully know the impact of social media. But any young man I talk to says that social media and the fact that something they say in passing is written, turns what could have been nothing into something. ”
“The actual number of young people dying tends to vary, but the number of seriously injured has increased for several years, since 2013. In many cases, the difference between a serious injury and a death is millimeters.
“If we are serious about making a difference, the solution is obvious. We have to figure out what works best, and then we have to execute it. ‘
Domestic abuse has long been recognized as an aggravating factor in which young people are involved in violence in old age, and new research suggests that it may also be linked to extremism or terrorism. Yates said: “For the majority of young people in this country, violence is not at all normal, but there is a proportion whose lives are too full of violence.
Levi Ernest-Morrison, 17, was stabbed in Sydenham Road
Levi Ernest-Morrison, 17, was stabbed in Sydenham Road, Sydenham, southeast London, around 7:20 p.m. on April 10.
Hussain Chaudhry, 18, was stabbed in Lea Bridge Road, Walthamstow, East London, around 5:20 p.m. on March 17. Police and an ambulance team attended, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
On March 8, 19-year-old Nikolay Vandev was stabbed along with a second 18-year-old victim in Penshurst Road, Tottenham, north London, shortly before 2pm. Vandev was pronounced dead at the scene, while the 18-year-old was taken to hospital and treated for non-life threatening stab wounds.
Ezra Okobia, 14, was fatally injured by the fumes from a fire at his home on Russett Way, Lewisham, southeast London, shortly before 6am on 6 March. They took him to the hospital, but he died four days later. His five-year-old brother, Joseph Okobia, and his mother, Victoria Amaning, 34, also died after inhaling fumes. Police believe that Ms. Amaning started the fire.
Tai Jordan O’Donnell, 19, of Croydon, south London, was stabbed multiple times in the legs at a house on Alpha Road just after 12.10pm. March 3. He was pronounced dead minutes after emergency crews arrived on the scene. .
On February 26, 19-year-old Ahmed Beker was stabbed in Paddington Green, west London, shortly after 9:10 p.m. He was treated by paramedics and an air ambulance team, but died at the scene.
Drekwon Patterson, 16, of Wembley, North West London, was stabbed in Preston Road, Brent, shortly after 11.30pm on February 18. They took him to the hospital but he died the next morning.
Hani Solomon, 18, of Wandsworth, South London, was killed during a fight between two groups of men shortly after 6.30pm on February 11 in Ackmar Road, Fulham, west London. He was treated by police, paramedics and an air ambulance team, but was pronounced dead at the scene less than an hour later.
On January 25, 15-year-old Romario Opia was found stabbed on Holland Walk, Islington, north London, around 5.30pm. He was pronounced dead at the scene shortly thereafter.
Anas Mezenner, 17, was found with stab wounds on West Green Road, Haringey, north London, shortly after 9pm on January 19. They took him to the hospital but he died at 4.25 am. The teenager had reportedly made a video of the knife crime for a media studies course weeks before he died.
Zaian Aimable-Lina Quick and Facts
- Zaian Aimable-Lina was attacked around 7pm in Ashburton Park, Croydon, and pronounced dead shortly after
- A 15-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of murder, before being released on bail to a date in late January
- In an unrelated case, a boy, 16, was knifed to death minutes later at Philpotts Farm Open Space in Hillingdon
- New death toll will heap more pressure on Khan to tackle crime even though he claims knife crime is down