Parents too afraid to let children out at night on Caledonian Road where teen was stabbed to death
'The whole neighbourhood is shaken. This was a real brutal incident.'
01 February, 2019 — By Calum Fraser
Floral tributes laid by Nedim Bilgin’s friends and family
PARENTS are too afraid to let children out at night as a 17-year-old became the first victim of knife crime this year in Islington.
Residents were reeling in shock following the attack by a group of teenagers in which Nedim Bilgin was knifed to death in Caledonian Road on Tuesday evening.
Parents said that they felt the area was not safe for children, with petty crime visible almost on a daily basis.
Caledonian ward councillor Paul Convery told the Tribune: “The reality of what happened on Tuesday is kicking in for everybody. The whole neighbourhood is shaken. This was a real brutal incident.
“When the family arrived on the night it was a really distressing moment. To hear the mother’s screams and the grief, you don’t forget that. This sort of thing has happened before in Cally.
“It gave me such a sinking feeling. People in the neighbourhood are very, very nervous. Many do not feel comfortable leaving their homes at night.”
Three boys, aged 16, 17 and 18, were arrested in connection with the death.
The police are not ruling out the possibility that the attack was a gang hit, according to Islington and Camden borough commander Nick Davies.
A mother, who was leaving flowers at the scene of the stabbing near Tilloch Street with her two daughters on Wednesday said: “We came out here to lay the flowers before it got dark.
“I don’t like being out here then. I think the area has gotten worse. There’s youngsters and gangs on mopeds and bikes. We have witnessed police chasing boys up and down the street. I don’t think it is fair for the little one to grow up and see that kind of thing happening.”
The stabbing took place a stone’s throw from the spot where Alan Cartwright, 15, was murdered by Joshua Williams, 18, in 2015.
Police cordoned off Caledonian Road on Tuesday night
A man who called himself “Skinny” was also laying flowers in memory of the 17-year-old on Wednesday evening.
He said: “Police. That’s the problem. We need more police.”
Before 2008, Caledonian’s neighbourhood team had six police community support officers (PCSOs), four police constables and a sergeant.
The local policing team now has four PCs, one PCSO and a sergeant.
Chief Supt Davies said: “The police in Islington work in partnership with the local authority and a number of other people, including charities, health and probation.
Chief Superintendent Nick Davies
“You can go down the Cally now and find a young person who says they don’t trust the police and rightly so, but I want to hear from them and for them to become part of the scrutiny groups that hold us to account.
“We are trying to reach out to these children. We’re visiting schools, we’re in boxing clubs, we’re hosting football matches, we’re in universities. Young people growing up in Islington now will know who their police officers are.”
Home secretary Sajid Javid announced new measures to clamp down on knife crime yesterday (Thursday).
Knife crime prevention orders could impose sanctions on children as young as 12 suspected of carrying a knife.
The children could be given a curfew, have to attend awareness courses, would be banned from meeting suspected gang members and from using social media that encourages feuds.
A section 60 order was put in place after the attack. The order, which continued until 4am today (Friday), gives police powers to stop and search individuals without cause for suspicion.