Knife crime among youth in Isleworth

Vigil attendees lighting candles 
taken from london.anglican.org

Knife crime has sadly become an increasing reality in Isleworth over the last year. This week our MP Ruth Cadbury called a meeting at West Thames college to discuss the issue of violence on our streets with local residents, young people, councillors, law enforcement and other stakeholders. There aren’t easy answers and it is worth remembering that many of the young people who get caught up in crime in our area are often vulnerable, themselves victims of exploitation or hardship. Please exercise vigilance and care, continue to pray for our community and join us as a church in providing a space where young people can belong and feel valued.

Last Friday, the Bishop of Kensington and the Revd Ali Walton led a prayer vigil in remembrance of the killing of Abdirashid Mohamoud, a 17-year-old boy who was stabbed to death in Isleworth on the evening of Friday, 22 March. More than one hundred people gathered at the scene of the attack from across the community to show solidarity with Abdirashid’s family, who were in attendance, and for the neighbours who witnessed and attended the aftermath of the attack.

Leading the prayers, Revd Ali Walton said:

“The week has brought for many a swirl of emotions: grief and distress at the needless loss of a young life; for the residents of Union Lane here, distress that home space, which should be a safe sanctuary, has been a place of violence; a deep sense of shock for many that this has happened in the heart of our community; fear about the possibility that it could happen again; perhaps anger that our community has been disrupted; perhaps the grief of this situation has triggered other griefs that are in our hearts and minds.

“We come together tonight in an act of peace and unity to strengthen the bonds of our community together; to acknowledge the distress that the week has brought; and to think of the family and friends of Abdirashid Mohamoud who lost his life at this place.”The Bishop of Kensington, The Rt Revd Dr Graham Tomlin, offered a closing prayer and blessing, inviting those in attendance to “greet those around you with words of peace.”