The brutal murder of a 24-year-old man with learning difficulties in Greenford last week has highlighted the need for more to be done to tackle knife crime.
Suzanne Fernandes, a youth mentor from Ealing, has worked with young offenders for eight years and is trying to organise a knife amnesty in the wake of Dean Mayley's death.
Mr Mayley, who suffered from the neurodevelopmental disorder microcephaly and had a mental age of nine, was stabbed in the chest last Friday. Detectives have released CCTV footage from that day.
Mr Mayley, from Northolt, is seen getting off an E9 bus in Ruislip Road East at about 4.25pm and walking in the direction of Greenford Broadway. About 50 minutes later he was attacked by a group of three or four men, described as black and wearing dark, hooded tops.
Police officers and medics arrived at the scene, in Ruislip Road, and Mr Mayley was taken to St Mary’s Hospital, where he died later that evening. A post-mortem examination on Monday gave the cause of death as a single stab wound to the chest, which had pierced his heart.
Detective Chief Inspector Matt Bonner, of Homicide and Major Crime Command, who is leading the investigation, said the people who committed the crime do not deserve protection. He added: “Dean was a vulnerable young man who had travelled alone to the Greenford Broadway area to visit a relative. Sadly, Dean was later to die following what appears to have been an unprovoked attack,” he said. “Dean’s family are distraught by his murder. The people who attacked him are simply vicious cowards.”
DCI Bonner said he hopes the footage might jog people’s memories of the ‘sickening’ attack.
“Those responsible are clearly dangerous and callous and it is critical that we track them down as soon as possible,” he added.
Youth mentor Ms Fernandes said there should be knife bins across the borough where people can safely dispose of blades. “I’m having a meeting with police to see how we can mobilise this,” she said.
She believes the government needs to do more to tackle knife crime and educate young people about the possible consequences.
Anyone with information can call police on 020 8358 0200 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.