Residents speak out about rising knife crime in Plaistow after fatal stabbing of teenager
PUBLISHED: 13:01 27 August 2019 | UPDATED: 13:01 27 August 2019
Residents of the Plaistow neighbourhood where a teenager was stabbed to death on Monday, say emergency services swarm their area all too often.
They believe the perpetrators are from elsewhere - and, without regular police patrols acting as a deterrent in trouble spots - the problem is getting worse.
An 18-year-old man, who residents believe is of east European descent, died after being found with stab wounds in Chadd Green, around 3.30pm on Monday, August 26.
John Lee, 48, says his mother has lived in the neighbourhood since 1966 but now wants to leave.
"The air ambulance has been over here too often lately, (it seems like) every week - it's crazy," he said.
"It's not the first one around here - one young boy got shot, didn't have anything to do with him, it was wrong place, wrong time.
"It was never like this when I grew up around here, it's got worse the last three years.
"My mum was the first one to move into her tower block, she loves it around here but she wants out now, she's had enough."
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Amidst the rising violence are other issues around drugs, drinking and antisocial behaviour - but Mr Lee insisted local youth are not the problem.
"A lot of the kids around here, they aren't bad really, they're not trouble," he said.
"They mind their own business, they're polite to my mum... kids from outside the area are causing it.
"The kids around here are all right, I've never had any problems from them, but they get the blame for it - that's the sad part about it, they get stereotyped and it's wrong."
Mr Lee said growing up in the area, there were regular police patrols, which were an effective deterrent but nowadays are rare.
"We all know they've had cuts to the police force, but they found 1,200 coppers for the (Notting Hill) Carnival didn't they?" he added.
Resident of 34 years Terry Addis, 73, knows the father of the victim of another recent stabbing and lives very close to where the teenager died on Monday.
"It's beyond a joke. Kids must be so frightened to go out," he said.
"It's just a waste of life (and) it's becoming more common - years ago, we never had any of this."