April 2, 2019 / 9:48 AM / 18 days ago

Fifth stabbing in four days in north London district amid knife crime surge

LONDON (Reuters) - London police said on Tuesday they were investigating a fifth stabbing in four days in the same north London district as authorities try to contain a surge in knife crime in Britain.

Four victims were stabbed from behind over the weekend in the Edmonton area of northwest London, and detectives said they believed it was not linked to terrorism and a single suspect was involved.

Two men were arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm and remain in custody. In the fifth attack, police said a man in his 30s was found with stab injuries early on Tuesday morning and was in a life-threatening condition in hospital.

A man in his 30s was later arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm and detectives said they were working to see if the incident was linked to the weekend’s stabbings.

“I am aware that events from the weekend have caused a huge amount of worry and concern among the community, and that this incident will cause further alarm,” Detective Superintendent Luke Marks said.

“While at this stage the incident has not yet been formally linked, the location and manner of this attack will be of concern to the public.”

On Monday, Prime Minister Theresa May held a special meeting to discuss tackling Britain’s soaring knife crime.

There were 285 fatal stabbings in England and Wales in 2018, the highest level since records began more than 70 years ago, official statistics showed last month.

Police say the surge in knife crime in a country where guns are hard to obtain has been driven by several factors, including rivalries between drug gangs, cuts to youth services and provocations on social media.

Reporting by Alistair Smout; editing by Michael Holden

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