1, April 2019
Police in the British capital London are searching for a potential serial attacker who randomly approached people from behind and knifed them.
Media reports on Sunday said a total of four people had been injured in random attacks in the northern London borough of Edmonton.
The Metropolitan Police said the “cowardly and senseless” attacks were potentially linked as all the victims had been “selected at random” for being “alone and vulnerable”.
The Met said the suspect, believed to be a slim black man who acted alone, had only aimed to inflict hurt on people as none of the victims had been robbed. They added that the attacker could have suffered from “mental health issues”.
“We are doing everything we can to apprehend the suspect behind these cowardly and senseless attacks,” said a spokesman without elaborating whether the attacks could have been terrorism.
The BBC said the attacks began with the stabbing of a 45-year-old woman in Aberdeen Road at 19:02 GMT on Saturday.
A 52-year-old man was stabbed half a mile away in Park Avenue about four hours later while a third victim, a 23-year-old man, suffered injuries less than a mile away in Silver Street after he was knifed overnight at Seven Sisters Tube station.
A final stabbing targeting a 29-year-old man came in early morning hours in Brettenham Road.
All the victims except one are now in critical condition and their injuries have been described as life-threatening.
The gruesome stabbing attacks come as the British government and security forces are grappling with a historic surge in knife crime and other types of violence on the streets.
Britain’s interior ministry announced a series of drastic changes to the rules governing stop and search operations by the police. The new measures are meant to enable officers with lower seniority to detect knives and other sharp instruments from people on the streets.