Just a few short weeks before the fatal stabbing of 31-year-old Titu Miah in Plashet Road, two “male teens” were seen shoplifting a saw and an axe from Wilko in East Ham. A man unconnected to the shoplifting, was charged with the murder earlier this week. But Miah’s death has renewed the debate about knife crime and how we could do more to prevent it.
The watchdog-style Twitter account Sites Of Newham (@SitesOfNewham) tweeted on 18 September that that they had “Just seen male teens shoplifting these from #EastHam @LoveWilko. Should they be on shopfloor in the first place? @MPSEastHamNorth @MPSNewham”. The tweet also included an image of the two items reportedly stolen: a 150mm Jab saw with a jagged blade, and a 20oz axe.
Weeks later Sites of Newham tweeted “murder in #PlashetPark yesterday. INEVITABLE given that ongoing criminality here has not been tackled adequately despite community warnings”.
The shoplifted tools, which cost £4.00 and £9.50 respectively, are stocked in the popular high street chain Wilko in their DIY section.
Wilko responded to the tweet reporting the alleged theft with “Thank you for letting us know we have passed this onto the store manager who will check CCTV and keep monitor this 🙂 Thanks Stacie”.
The twitter account for the Met Contact Centre (@MetCC) responded with “Hi, was this reported via 999 at the time? If not pls DM us via the link below. Thanks”, but not before Victoria Tischler commented on the “appalling lack of response” from the other parties who were contacted about the incident.
The number of knife crimes committed in the country has soared to its highest level in six years, as revealed by official figures last week. Nearly 37,000 blade offences were reported in the 12 months until June this year, 7,500 more than the year before.