Local residents have spoken of their fear and shock the morning after a brutal killing in the heart of Jewish north London.
The 38-year-old victim, who has not been identified by police but is understood not to be Jewish , was fatally stabbed yesterday afternoon during a bungled robbery in Parson Steet, Hendon, just yards from the Gan Menachem nursery. He died from his wounds less than an hour later.
Police cordoned off part of Parson Street and were unable to say when the road would be reopened.
One resident, Emma, who declined to give her full name, said she was scared after hearing the news and initially thought the victim might be Jewish.
“You just don’t expect something like this to happen in broad daylight,” said the 42-year-old. “Coming from South Africa I used to feel really safe in London by comparison. But I don’t feel safe here any more. I don’t think there are not enough police on the streets.”
David Joel, 24, a law student who lives on a street close to where the attack took place, said he felt violent crime had increased in the area in recent years.
“I feel like things are definitely getting worse around here,” he said. “Maybe its because times are hard. A few weeks ago there was an acid attack by someone who owed the other person money. People are saying it was drug-related.”
A mother of three said she hoped the incident was a one-off and that ordinary Jewish life in the area would continue as normal.
“We hope it was just something arbitrary and that it’s just one of those things that could happen anywhere,” she said.
As well as the nursery there are two schools in Parson Street. Eyewitnesses described how police escorted parents and children away from the scene.
Witnesses have been asked to contact the police incident room on 0208-358-0200 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.