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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Redbridge Council reassures residents after 14-year-old killed in serious Hainault police incident

Redbridge politicians have sought to reassure the local community in Hainault after a 14-year-old boy was killed and four others injured in a sword attack this morning.

A 36-year-old man was tasered and arrested by Metropolitan Police after they were called to reports of a car being driven into a home in Thurlow Gardens, a residential street near Hainault Station, shortly before 7am today (30 April).

The suspect then “attacked other members of the public,” including two police officers, according to the Met. Chief Superintendent Stuart Bell confirmed at a press conference around 1pm that a 14-year-old boy had died in the attacks.

Reacting to the news on X/Twitter, Redbridge Council leader Jas Athwal said that the community was “in shock”.

He said: “As a community we are in shock, and I want to reassure my neighbours across Redbridge that a man has been arrested and the area secured.”

He added: “I am incredibly grateful for the actions of our emergency services, especially the Metropolitan Police officers who attended the scene and showed immense bravery putting themselves in danger to protect others from harm.”

At a press briefing, Ch Supt Bell said the boy’s family was being supported by specialist officers. He added: “Everyone in the Met is keeping them in our thoughts at this unimaginably difficult time.

“The events of this morning are truly horrific and I cannot even begin to imagine how those affected are feeling.”

A spokesperson for Redbridge Council said that cordons remained in place but there was no further risk to residents. Hainault tube station, on the Central line, was closed due to the incident, as well as several roads.

In a statement supplied to the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS), the spokesperson said: “We feel shocked at the news of this morning’s attack in Hainault. Police have detained the suspect, and we are supporting the police investigation.

“There are cordons in place in the area but police are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident and have said there is no further risk to the local people.

“Hainault is a close-knit community and we know this will have shaken local people. Our thoughts are with all those affected and their family members.”

Ilford North MP Wes Streeting, who represents the area for Labour, expressed sympathy for the killed boy’s family and urged for people to refrain from speculating while facts emerge.

In a statement on X, he commended the police’s response to the attacks, saying: “I know there will be widespread fear and alarm in our community, but the police have made an arrest and are not looking for any other suspects. I am grateful to the police for their visible and reassuring presence in Hainault today.”

Eyewitnesses spoke of seeing a man brandishing a “samurai sword”. The area is largely residential, and one runner told the BBC he had only heard of two burglaries in his 14 years of living there.

The two other members of the public injured in the attack did not receive life-threatening injuries, Ch Supt Bell said. He added that the two police officers involved will require surgery for their stab wounds.

Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, said the attack was “devastating”. He previously said the emergency services who attended the incident “showed the best of our city”.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak likewise commended the officers’ “bravery,” adding: “Such violence has no place on our streets.”

The incident is not believed to be terror-related nor a “targeted attack,” Ch Supt Bell said.

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