Waltham Forest stabbing: Moped crash boy, 14, killed

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image copyrightMet Police
image captionJaden Moodie lived in the area with his mother, police said

A 14-year-old boy has been stabbed to death by attackers who knocked him off a moped, in what police believe was a targeted attack.

Jaden Moodie was found wounded in Bickley Road, Waltham Forest, at 18:30 GMT on Tuesday.

Detectives believe the moped had been involved in a crash with a car, after which three men got out the vehicle, stabbed the teenager and drove off.

He died at the scene. No arrests have been made and a cordon is in place.

Jaden, who police said lived in the area with his mother, is believed to be the youngest victim to die on London's streets in the past year.

There were 132 homicides in 2018, the highest total since 2008.

image copyrightPA
image captionThere were 132 homicides in 2018, the highest total since 2008

Jaden's godmother described him as "full of life, fun loving and a ray of sunshine".

Zoe Grant, from Nottingham, said the teenager and his mother had recently moved to London from the East Midlands to be closer to some of his family.

"He was a beautiful boy, so intelligent and had everything to live for," she said.

"He went to London and then this happens, it's just so unfair. The violence in London is out of hand, it's not right."

Marcellus Baz, who was Jaden's youth worker when he lived in Nottingham, said he found the news of the schoolboy's death "absolutely shocking".

"He was a polite kid, he was really respectful. He's a good kid," he said.

image copyrightPA
image captionPolice are appealing for witnesses
image copyrightPA
image captionThe minimum age to drive a moped in the UK is 16

Det Ch Insp Larry Smith, of the Metropolitan Police, said: "Everything that we have learned about this attack so far indicates it was targeted and intent on lethal force from the outset.

"We are doing everything we can to catch those who carried out this cowardly attack and bring them to justice."

A section 60 order has been put in place, allowing officers to search anyone in the vicinity of the scene for weapons.

London's victims

Motives and circumstances behind killings varied - as did the age and gender of the victims.

Police have not said whether they believe the murder was gang-related but all lines of inquiry remain open.

Officers are trying to trace the vehicle used in the attack, which is believed to be a black Mercedes B Class with extensive frontal damage.

image copyrightPA
image captionFloral tributes were left on Lea Bridge Road, near the scene of the crime
image captionKerry-Ann Honeygahn said she "wasn't surprised" to hear of the latest violence

Kerry-Ann Honeygahn told the BBC how a few weeks ago, her friend took a knife away from the boy.

The 38-year-old youth mentor said she "wasn't surprised" to hear of the violence.

"Another young life has been taken on the streets of London."

At the scene: Alice Evans, BBC London

image copyrightPA
image captionThere were 132 homicides in 2018, the highest total since 2008

Around the corner from the crime scene is a narrow street with several garages.

Mechanics there say the boy used to come by for a chat, riding on a moped with another boy - thought to be either his friend or his brother.

Garage owner Anthony Anderson said he felt like a father figure to the "nice little boy" and was "very sad" to hear he had died.

"I used to encourage him to go to school, to stay out of trouble. He used to chat to me about growing up."

The 56-year-old, who has two children and worries "what will happen next", believes the killing was gang-related.

image captionAnthony Anderson said he was like a father figure to the boy

On Wednesday, just streets away from the scene of the fatal stabbing, a man had his face slashed in an attack.

Police were called at 13:28 to reports of a man being chased by a group of youths on St Stephen's Close - about half a mile from the cordon.

Officers found a man with a wound to his face in nearby Bromley Road and he was taken to hospital, police said.

A Met spokesman said no one had been arrested and officers were trying to establish if this was the man who was being chased.

image copyrightJohn Stillwell/PA
image captionOfficers in plain clothes attended the scene of a second violent attack not far from the Bickley Road crime scene
image copyrightPA
image captionOne resident claimed the area was linked to an ongoing postcode war

Of the 132 murders in 2018, 77 were stabbings, compared to 80 the year before.

In April, the Met set up a £15m violent crime taskforce, which in its first six months made 1,361 arrests, seized 340 knives, and recovered 258 offensive weapons.

But has been the subject of criticism and described as "just a sticking plaster".

Met commissioner Cressida Dick told Radio 4's Today Programme on 27 December that knife crime in London had "levelled off", praising the "Herculean effort" of officers.

London mayor Sadiq Khan, who said he was "greatly saddened" by the latest death, also set up the Violence Reduction Unit with £500,000 of funding in September to "treat violence like a disease".

Stella Creasy, the MP for Walthamstow, said she was "devastated" by the news from her constituency, describing it as a "terrible, horrific event".

Waltham Forest Council leader, Clare Coghill, called for those with information to come forward, warning that "to stay silent is to support murderers".

The Waltham Forest borough has had problems with gang crime and the local authority has spent £3 million on a four-year prevention programme.

It commissioned a report, published last summer, which found that so-called county lines drug gangs - which often target children and vulnerable youngsters - were operating in the area.

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Ali Yamah, a tyre fitter who has worked opposite Bickley Road for 17 years, said the area could be intimidating at night.

"In my experience here there is drug dealing, this is the main source," the 48-year-old said.

"Sometimes we are afraid, people are afraid of this kind of behaviour."

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