Hackney’s youngest councillor speaks out after four days of spiralling violence

Mete Coban

Mete Coban - Credit: Archant

Four days of spiralling gang violence – starting with the murder of a 17-year-old, and culminating in the stabbing of a 13-year-old in Kingsland Shopping Centre – have led Hackney’s youngest councillor to speak out.

Mete Coban, 22, wants to make sure Jeremie Malenge’s death last Thursday was not in vain, and has urged parents, councillors, teachers and community leaders to ensure “it doesn’t happen again”.

Jeremie, 17, was stabbed to death in Ponsford Street just before midnight last Wednesday, following a dispute with three or four youths in a shop in Homerton High Street, police believe.

A 17-year-old girl, a 14-year old boy and a 17-year old boy have since been charged with his murder, and another youth has been bailed pending further enquiries.

In a separate incident, the following day on Thursday a quick-thinking plain-clothes police officer saved a man in his 20s who was stabbed in Rectory Road, Stoke Newington, in broad daylight from further injury after he intervened.

Two men were arrested at the scene and taken to an east London police station.

Then on Friday at 6pm brave police officers disarmed and arrested a 41-year-old man armed with a meat cleaver during a fight outside a chicken shop in Graham Road.

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Later that night a man in his 40s was stabbed in Homerton High Street – not far from where Jeremie Malenge died.

The suspect escaped from police and a five-hour stand-off on the roof of Nisbet House ensued as residents warned on Twitter that he was armed with a machete, before he was arrested and charged on suspicion of attempted murder.

The spate of violent on Saturday afternoon – a 14-year old boy and a 16-year old boy have been arrested for attempted murder after a 13-year old boy was stabbed in Dalston’s Kingsland Shopping Centre.

Cllr for Stoke Newington ward and politics student, Mete Coban, said more needs to be done to engage with young people.

“It’s so sad to see - when I was growing up in Hackney the crime rate was high and it was threatening to be in certain parts of the borough, and I thought we had passed that phase,” he said.

“But in one week we have had so many incidents, I can’t imagine what the families are going through,” he added.

“I myself feel responsible for going out there to tell them there is so much out there in life and to stop this nonsense.

“We need to make young people aware of what’s out there for them in their careers rather than getting involved in gang crime, there’s a disconnect and it’s about building a bridge to let them know what opportunities are out there.

Certainly I think there should be a strong clear community message after this, I don’t think that Jeremie Malenge’s death should be in vain, we need to push on it and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

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