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Crisis meeting in bid to tackle surge in violence

‘Big question’ forum set to discuss knife crime and disorder

04 October, 2019 — By Tom Foot

Victim: Youssef Al-Bayjani, who was 17

A PUBLIC meeting has been called over rising violent crime and the killing of a teenager in Edgware Road.

The event, “Community Against Knife Crime” is to be held in the Greenside Community Centre, Lilestone Street, Lisson Grove, between 2pm and 5pm tomorrow (Saturday).

Church Street ward Cllr Aicha Less, one of the organisers of the meeting, said: “The idea is to have a ‘Big Question’ set-up debate asking the audience to reply to questions put forward, for their opinions, experiences and possible solutions. We decided to address the issue in an open forum, where all ages and backgrounds can come together and discuss what concerns us all – crime and disorder which affects us all.”

The meeting follows the fatal attack on Youssef Karim Hassan Al-Bayjani, a 17-year-old student of City of Westminster College, outside KFC last month. A fifth teenager was charged with his murder this week.

The trial of alleged killers of Zahir Visiter, near Regent’s Park Mosque in March this year, is under way at the Old Bailey.

It is 11 years since 18- year-old Jevon Henry was knifed to death near his home on the Lisson Green estate.

• Westminster Council leader Nickie Aiken has welcomed an announ­cement by home secretary Priti Patel at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester this week of a £20million fund to tackle “county-lines” drug dealing. Cllr Aiken was due to speak at an event about county lines – where drug dealers branch out of the city into suburbs using teenagers – but the meeting was pulled because the council was expecting a snap general election.

A spokesman said: “It seemed likely at that point there would be a snap election, and we did not want to breach any purdah rules on impartiality by holding an event at a party conference during an election period.”


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