Chilling moment ex police chief comes face to face with gang members

‘I’ve got a knife on me now’: Chilling moment retired police chief comes face to face with masked teenage gang members who tell of witnessing brutal stabbings on Britain’s streets

  • Chilling footage shows Lord Bernard Hogan Howe confronting armed teenager
  • The moment is shown in TV documentary on Britain’s knife crime epidemic
  • Number of under-16s treated for stab wounds nearly doubles in five years
  • Knife-point robberies by teens increased by more than 50 per cent in five years
  • The statistics come as two 17-year-olds are stabbed to death on Saturday night 

Chilling documentary footage shows the moment former Met Police chief Lord Bernard Hogan Howe comes face to face with a teenage gang member armed with a knife.

The youngster, 19, tells the ex Scotland Yard boss that he is in possession of the deadly weapon during an interview for an investigation in Britain’s knife crime epidemic.

Wearing a balaclava and giving his name as ‘Jackson’ the teenager, who admits to being part of a gang since he was 12-years-old, tells Lord Hogan Howe that flick knives are the blade of choice among criminals.

Speaking of his life in a gang, he says: ‘We would do whatever to be honest, sell drugs, to make money. 

The youngster, 19, (pictured left) tells the ex Scotland Yard boss that he is in possession of the deadly weapon during an interview for an investigation in Britain’s knife crime epidemic

Wearing a balaclava and giving his name as ‘Jackson’ the teenager (left) who admits to being part of a gang since he was 12-years-old, tells Lord Hogan Howe that flick knives are the blade of choice among criminals

‘There was a lot of violence, a lot of it. I’ve got a knife now.

‘I wouldn’t pull it out though. I don’t pull it out. You will never see me pulling it out and showing it off. It’s unnecessary.

‘I only pull it out if I see you coming at me with a knife. I’m going to pull my own out.’

Also interviewed alongside him is a 15-year-old, also wearing a mask to protect his identity, who tells how he has seen victims being stabbed on the street.

Also interviewed alongside him is a 15-year-old, also wearing a mask to protect his identity, who tells how he has seen victims being stabbed on the street. Pictured: Lord Hogan Howe interviewing the two teenagers

Lord Hogan Howe was carrying out an investigation into Britain’s knife crime epidemic for Dispatches on Channel 4

When asked what violence he has witnessed, he replies; ‘Critical damage. That’s all I can say.’

He says the victim was stabbed repeatedly in the ‘face, chest, arms and legs.’

The channel 4 Dispatches documentary reveals the scale of the youth knife crisis after another weekend of carnage on Britain’s blood-soaked streets.

The families of two more murdered teenagers – a Girl Scout once invited to Downing Street and a pupil at a top private school – are in mourning today.

New statistics show that knife crime has soared to its highest level since the Second World War


Jodie Chesney, 17, (left and right) was stabbed to death on Friday night in Romford, East London 

New statistics show the number of under-16s treated in hospital for stab wounds has nearly doubled in five years. 

Doctors are battling to save three children a day on average as knife crime rates soar to the highest level since the Second World War.

The figures revealed:   

  • A total of 347 under-16s were taken to A&E with stab wounds last year, up from 180 in 2012-13
  •  The number of child knife killers has risen by 77 per cent in two years 
  •  Knife-point robberies by teenagers have leapt by more than 50 per cent in the same period, and the number of teens carrying out knife-point rapes has surged by a third. 

  • Revealed: Two teenagers arrested over murder of A*…


    Was tragic Jodie murdered as part of a sick gang initiation?…

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Flowers were laid in memory of Ms Chesney in the London suburb of Harold Hill near Romford

The figures come after Jodie Chesney, 17, was stabbed in the back as she sat on a park bench with her boyfriend in Romford, east London, on Friday night.

Yesterday her distraught mother laid flowers at the scene as relatives said they were struggling to come to terms with a ‘random and unprovoked’ attack on a ‘beautiful, lovely and quirky young girl with her whole life in front of her’.

In another horrific attack, Manchester Grammar School pupil Yousef Makki, also 17, was stabbed to death in the Cheshire village of Hale Barns on Saturday. Police were quizzing two 17-year-old private school pupils yesterday.

Yousef Makki, 17, also died from stab wounds on Saturday night. Two private school pupils are being questioned in relation to the incident

The murders follow the fatal stabbings of three teenagers in a fortnight in Birmingham, which led to West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson declaring a ‘national emergency’. 

Home Secretary Sajid Javid promised to meet chief constables this week as he came under intense pressure to end the bloodshed.

Former Scotland Yard Commissioner Lord Hogan-Howe accused ministers of failing to get to grips with a ‘national crisis’ and of leaving police ‘in the Dark Ages’.

An investigation by Channel 4 Dispatches into Wild West Britain, to be broadcast tonight, looked at hospital and police data to uncover the shocking rise in children being caught up in knife crime.

NHS data shows that 1,029 teenagers aged 19 or under were treated for assaults with knives or other sharp objects across England and Wales last year – up from 55 per cent from five years ago.

More than two-thirds of the knife-related injuries were treated in hospitals outside London, the NHS Digital figures show. It follows Office of National Statistics data showing there is almost twice as much knife crime outside of London compared to in the capital.

Separate police data obtained by the programme under Freedom of Information laws demonstrates that the number of teenage perpetrators of crimes involving blades has also risen.


Bright Akinlele, 22,  (left) was stabbed to death in Euston two weeks ago. Glendon Spence, 23, (right) was also stabbed to death two weeks ago

The number of knife killers under the age of 18 leapt by 77 per cent between 2016 and 2018, from 26 offenders to 46.

A breakdown of age-related data from 21 police forces shows that the proportion of youths committing knife-point robberies has increased by 50 per cent, from 656 offences in 2016 to 999 in 2018. In the same period, the number of teenage rapes and sexual assaults using a knife increased from 24 to 33.

Nedim Bilgin, 17, was knifed to death in Islington in January

Lord Hogan-Howe told Dispatches: ‘I have to admit to being shocked by the huge rise in the number of young people being stabbed.

‘It’s incredibly worrying and something we should all be concerned about… This is clearly a national crisis.’

The retired top officer called for an extra 20,000 police officers to flood socially deprived areas, saying: ‘We need to increase police numbers in these places and reduce the drug supply into the UK and its distribution, including by county lines.

‘Our technology is in the Dark Ages. What we need is great facial recognition and behavioural science software that helps officers to find who and when to search.’

Lord Hogan-Howe added: ‘I just don’t see anybody getting a grip of this crisis. The Government needs to appoint somebody who is going to lead it day after day.

‘Call it a knife crime tsar if you like but somebody who is going to make sure we get knives off the street and save lives.’

Policing minister Nick Hurd said: ‘One of the big challenges underpinning is the reality that for too many young people, particularly in our big cities, carrying a knife now feels normal.’

Mr Javid added: ‘Young people are being murdered across the country and it can’t go on.

‘We’re taking action on many fronts and I’ll be meeting police chiefs this week to hear what more can be done. It is vital that we unite to stop this senseless violence.’  

Britain’s Knife Crisis: Young, Armed and Dangerous, tonight at 8pm, Channel 4. 

The full list of 20 murders in London so far this year – including five in just the last week

Here is a list of of the 20 murders in London so far in 2019:

Revealed: Two teenagers arrested over murder of A* scholarship student, 17, at £12,000-a-year school are also pupils at prestigious schools and live in multimillion-pound homes 

Yousef Makki, 17, died of stab wounds on Saturday night. He wanted to be a heart surgeon

A schoolboy stabbed to death in a wealthy Cheshire village was an ‘A* student’ who wanted to be a heart surgeon.

Yousef Makki, 17, was a sixth-form pupil at the elite Manchester Grammar School, where alumni include former England cricket captain Mike Atherton.

Yousef is thought to have received a scholarship to attend the school, where fees are in excess of £12,000 a year.

Two 17-year-old boys have been arrested on suspicion of murder. 

They are both also pupils at prestigious schools in the North West and are believed to live in multi-million pound homes in the area.

Yousef was stabbed at 6.40pm on Saturday in a quiet, tree-lined residential street in Hale Barns, a village known for its well-heeled residents. 

Those with homes nearby include a string of sports stars and classical singer Russell Watson.

By contrast, Yousef lived in a modest mid-terrace former council house about ten miles away in Burnage, Manchester. 

His mother is English, while his father is believed to be from Lebanon.

Forensic work continued at the murder scene yesterday.

One resident said of the scene on Saturday night: ‘It was like Blackpool Illuminations with all the lights. The boy was leaning against a tree outside. 

‘By the time we came out to the drive the police were there. They told us to get back inside and in the end we weren’t allowed to leave until about 9pm.

‘The police response was excellent – I can’t fault that. 

‘Staff from two private security firms were also out here so I presume they had been alerted to something going on. Lots of the houses here have CCTV.


Yousef (pictured) was stabbed at 6.40pm on Saturday in a quiet, tree-lined residential street in Hale Barns, a village known for its well-heeled residents

Floral tributes have been laid next to a tree close to where the teenager was stabbed to death in Hale Barns

Handwritten tributes have been left at the scene following the killing on Saturday. Friends of Yousef have also been paying tribute on social media

‘There have been a couple of bad break-ins round here so people will have been on the lookout, but this is not what you expect.’

Yousef, who lived with his mother Deborah, 54, and 15-year-old brother Mazen – his father Ghaleb is thought to be Lebanese –   was taken to hospital after the attack, but died soon afterwards. 

Police said there was no evidence the attack was linked to organised crime or gangs. There was, however, speculation in Hale Barns that it was linked to a row over drugs. 

A neighbour said yesterday: ‘He was a lovely lad, a dedicated A* student who wanted to be a heart surgeon.

‘He didn’t have a bad bone in his body. I think he was in Hale Barns because he has friends there. They are a beautiful family … it’s very sad. Everyone here is devastated.’

Police said there was no evidence the attack was linked to organised crime or gang activity

Police seized two mountain bikes on Sunday morning close to the scene of Yousef’s stabbing  

The neighbour, who did not wish to be named, added: ‘I used to see him every morning checking his hair before he went [to school]. He could have been someone.

‘It’s just a shame for a young lad with so much potential to have his life taken so young.’ 

Friends of the schoolboy have been uploading tributes to social media. One wrote alongside a montage of images: ‘RIP Makki one of the realist on the team it’s hard to believe you are gone. Rest easy Makki.’

A gofundme page has been set up by Yousef’s friends and by this morning it had raised nearly £12,000.

It had been flooded with tributes by friends and members of the public who have made donations.

Friends of the schoolboy have been uploading tributes to social media. One wrote alongside a montage of images: ‘RIP Makki one of the realist on the team it’s hard to believe you are gone. Rest easy Makki’

Kathy Hughes wrote: ‘I have very fond memories of Yousef having taught him at primary school. 

‘A bright, caring and considerate boy. Such heart breaking news. My thoughts are with his family. X’

‘Terri’ wrote: ‘Such a kind and thoughtful young man with a beautiful smile who always wanted to do the right thing.’

And Carole wrote: ‘My son attends MGS (Manchester Grammar School) and said Yousef always helped with the Friday assembly. 


Yousef (pictured) was taken to hospital after the attack, but died soon afterwards. Police said there was no evidence the attack was linked to organised crime or gangs

Two forensic tents and emergency services at the scene of the crime on Sunday morning 

‘Devastated for his family and my thoughts are with his MGS teachers and friends. I hope one day his family can gain some comfort from the messages on here x’   

Detective Superintendent Phil Reade, head of the Greater Manchester Police major incident team, called the case ‘incredibly tragic’.

‘Yousef’s family has understandably been left devastated by his death and the thoughts of the entire team remain with them at this difficult time,’ he said.

‘Detectives have been working throughout the night trying to establish exactly what happened. The investigation is in its very early stages and we continue to remain open-minded about why Yousef was attacked.’

A string of tributes to the schoolboy were posted online. Tanya Daly wrote: ‘RIP Yousef Makki, what a lovely young man from a loving family.

A gofundme page was set up to contribute to Yousef’s funeral. It is aiming to raise £15,000

Yousef was a sixth-form pupil at the elite Manchester Grammar School (pictured) where alumni include former England cricket captain Mike Atherton

‘My love and thoughts go out to them.’

Ayla Oglu added: ‘He was such a good lad, very clever and caring. He could have gone to the best universities, why did it have to end like that? Absolutely gutted.’

Yousef’s family were too upset to comment this morning.

The stabbing of Yousef came just hours after a girl was killed in the Havering Borough of London on Sunday.

Jodie Chesney, 17, was knifed in the back in an unprovoked in a park in Harold Hill.

Her death was the 18th stabbing killing in the capital in 2019. 

A map of the UK showing the death toll from knife murders in the UK which has so far hit 21

The murders follow the fatal stabbings of three teenagers in a fortnight in Birmingham, which led to West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson declaring a ‘national emergency’. 

Home Secretary Sajid Javid has promised to meet chief constables as he came under intense pressure to end the bloodshed.  

Was tragic Jodie murdered as part of a sick gang initiation? Girl Scout’s grandmother fears innocent 17-year-old may have been stabbed in the back by a new gang member ‘trying to show his loyalty’

Jodie Chesney, pictured in Downing Street during a visit with her scout troop, was brutally stabbed to death in a park in Romford on Friday

The 17-year-old girl scout stabbed to death in an east London park may have been the victim of a gang imitation dare, locals have suggested.

Jodie Chesney was murdered while playing music with her boyfriend, 18-year-old Eddie Coyle, and four other friends in Romford on Friday evening.

Her family have been left stunned at why the teenager, who was a popular member of the local Scout group, would have been so brutally attacked.

Police have said the attacker did not say anything to Jodie or her group of friends, and immediately ran off after the stabbing.

Friends of Ms Chesney have suggested the attack may have been a case of mistaken identity.

Others went online to tell her family that ‘gang members were tasked with murders to gain entry to groups’, or that a gang member may have been ‘dared to stab a random person to show their loyalty’.

Ms Chesney’s grandmother, Debbie, told friends it was ‘a possibility’. She appealed to the attacker or anyone who knows him to contact police.

Scotland Yard have not said what they believe the motive is but detectives are understood to be examining a number of theories.   

Ms Chesney’s boyfriend, Mr Coyle, has left an emotional message on a card at the scene, saying: ‘Jodie you are the best thing that could have happened in my life. I will love you always and you will forever be in my heart beautiful.’ 

Jodie’s mother Claire Gillham also left flowers at the scene of the murder yesterday while her grandmother called for an end to ‘needless violence’.  

Ms Chesney’s death came on a weekend of violence around the UK, with 17-year-old Yousef Makki stabbed to death in the village of Hale Barns, near Altrincham in Greater Manchester, the following night. 

Claire Gillham, mother of Jodie Chesney (far right) pays her respects at the scene at St Neots Road, Harold Hill where Jodie Chesney was stabbed to death

Tributes: People lay flowers for Jodie Chesney after the 17-year-old Scout Explorer was knifed to death in London 

Jodie’s mother left flowers and a lantern for her daughter, as friends and relatives hugged one another at the scene of the devastating killing 


Teenage girls sobbed at the scene and were comforted by friends after Jodie’s death. Her mother Claire (left) placed a lantern and flowers under a tree

Ms Chesney was an enthusiastic Scout Explorer who had visited Downing Street in November posting on Instagram that it was ‘so much fun’ and ‘I’m basically famous now.’ 

She was also selected to honour the Chelsea Pensioners at the Royal Albert Hall, appearing in a BBC broadcast last year in front of the Queen and Prince William. 


  • Revealed: Two teenagers arrested over murder of A*…


    Was tragic Jodie murdered as part of a sick gang initiation?…

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Speaking to ITV News her uncle Dave Chesney said the family was ‘devastated’, adding: ‘This was a totally random and unprovoked attack on a beautiful, lovely and quirky young girl with her whole life in front of her.’      

Headmaster’s tribute to ‘excellent, hard-working’ Jodie

Paul Wakeling, the principal of Havering Sixth Form College, said today that he wanted to ‘extend my deepest sympathy, and that of my staff, to Jodie’s family and friends’.

He said: ‘It was with sadness and shock that I received the news of the tragic death of Jodie Chesney, an Upper 6th A Level student at Havering Sixth Form College.

‘Jodie was an excellent, hard-working and focused student and her loss is devastating to staff and students.

‘Our focus for the next few days will be on providing support for the college community as a whole with additional help, as needed, for those who knew Jodie personally.’

Her grandmother Debbie Chesney said: ‘This was our youngest granddaughter. How have we come to this point where kids can’t have a walk in a park without suffering an unprovoked attack? 

‘If anyone knows anything about this please contact the police with information. We don’t want anyone else to go through what our family is suffering right now. This has to stop, there are too many young people having their lives cut short by needless violence.’ 

Witness Krystle Pasha, who lives close to the scene of the stabbing, told Sky News she heard arguing and shouting before a ‘disturbing’ scream in the moments before the attack. 

Another witness, mother-of-three Teresa Farenden, 49, and her friend Kelly Smith, 36, said two men stabbed the teenage girl in front of her boyfriend before fleeing. 

Mrs Farenden said: ‘I was trying to do my coat up in the drive and I shouted out ‘is everything okay?’ as I was worried it could be kids drinking. Then a boy said ‘no I need help, my girlfriend has been stabbed’ and I just flew over there in my flip flops.

‘We tried to compress the wound to stop the bleeding but there was just so much. It was like being in a horror movie. When I got there she was breathing but it was very shallow, she was groaning and there was a slight pulse. 

‘The boyfriend was holding her and kissing her face. He was whispering and begging her, ‘Please, please stay awake’. 

Jodie Chesney, 17, (circled in red) is stood next to Explorer Scouts at the Royal Albert Hall in November 2018. Just months later she would be stabbed to death in a London park

Jodie Chesney was stabbed in the back and lay bleeding to death in a park on Friday night. Her boyfriend comforted her as neighbours of the park ran over to try and save her

Just hours before her death Ms Chesney posted an Instagram picture which said: ‘Happy birthday Dad’ and tagged Pete Chesney on his 39th

The scene of the crime in Romford where Jodie Chesney was knifed to death. Forensic police officers search the park as flowers and lanterns are left nearby


Flowers describing Jodie as an ‘angel’ were left at the scene near Amy’s Park after Jodie was killed on Friday 

Romford resident Mrs Farenden said: ‘The ambulance arrived and I told the 999 call handler. She asked me to stay on the phone until the crew had reached us on the park. And in that moment the girl died.

‘I turned to look at her and my friend, who had come to help, just said, ‘We’ve lost her’.’

Mrs Farenden – whose house faces the park – began CPR but did not realise the blade remained lodged in Jodie’s back. It is believed she was stabbed with such force that the blade snapped, meaning those who tried to help her could not see it. 

She added: ‘The knife blade was still in her, but I didn’t see it because it was dark.

‘I didn’t realise at the time, but then all I kept thinking once the police told me was ‘have I put the knife in further by giving her compressions?” 

She added: ‘It was horrific, it was just the blood. There must’ve been two pints of blood. There was so much of it.

‘The girl was moaning, but she was mostly silent. We checked her pulse and we could hear her breathing.’ 

Mrs Farenden went on: ‘People are scared to help, but all I was thinking with my mother’s instinct was I need to help.

‘Her boyfriend did everything he could. When I came over she was on her back so I moved her onto her side.

‘Then the boyfriend’s friend came over with some kitchen roll.

‘Then there was another girl and a man came over in a van to help and took his coat off to keep it on the wound and keep it compressed as much as they could.

‘I think he was the dad of one of the boyfriend’s friends. I was just trying to keep her legs in the recovery position because she was heavy, like a dead weight.

‘Just as the ambulance crew turned up, she had gone. It was devastating. My heart is with the family how something so devastating like that could happen to a young girl.’  


When emergency services arrived, Jodie Chesney (left and right) still had the blade lodged in her back as horrified neighbours rushed to save her life

A message left yesterday at the park said: ‘Jodie, We love you. You are so strong. We will always remember you’

Mourners gathered at the park in Harold Hill on Saturday after she bled to death within an hour of being stabbed on Friday

Jodie Chesney was stabbed to death in a park as she sat with her boyfriend on Friday night. ‘Disturbing’ screams were heard by neighbours 

Sadiq Khan said he was ‘filled with anger’ and ‘devastated’ by the killing of the teenage girl – as murders in the capital soar

Mrs Farenden added: ‘It is so traumatic – she is not going to have any children, she is not going to get married – it has all been taken away.

‘She was such an attractive girl and her boyfriend was a lovely looking lad. 

‘It just seems so random; it must’ve been horrific for her boyfriend and those other young people there to experience. 

‘It is just unreal – I think God, it could have been my daughter.’   

Debbie Chesney, Jodie’s grandmother, said: ‘We don’t want anyone else to go through what our family is suffering right now’

Acting Detective Chief Superintendent John Ross, of the Met’s East Area Command Unit, said: ‘Yesterday a 17-year-old girl lost her life, and I want to express my deepest sympathies to this girl’s family and friends.

‘Her death is a tragedy. I can reassure them and the whole community that we are doing everything possible to identify and bring to justice the person or persons responsible.’  

Sadiq Khan said he was ‘filled with anger’ and ‘devastated’ by the killing of the teenager.

In a tweet this morning, the Mayor of London said: ‘Devastated by the fatal stabbing of a 17 year-old girl in Havering. 

‘My thoughts are with her loved ones. It fills me with anger that violent criminals are targeting young Londoners with their whole lives before them. I encourage anyone with information to contact the police.’

Her death is the latest brutal killing in the capital after a 20-year-old man was stabbed to death outside Ilford train station in east London on Tuesday.

Che Morrison was knifed after a fight broke out just before 8.50pm. Witnesses said he was ‘slashed in the face’ during the attack.

Nineteen-year-old Kamali Gabbidon-Lynck was also fatally stabbed by a gang riding bikes in Wood Green, north London, last week.  

London mayor Sadiq Khan jets off to Marrakech for a holiday with his wife just hours after fatal stabbing of 17-year-old girl – as he faces criticism for his slow response to knife epidemic 

London mayor Sadiq Khan has jetted off to Marrakech for a holiday with his wife as he continues to face criticism for his slow response to the knife-crime epidemic.

Mr Khan was spotted at Gatwick on Saturday before boarding a plane and sitting down in a window seat in a black cap and jacket.

It was just hours after the fatal stabbing of 17-year-old Girl Scout Jodie Chesney, who was knifed to death in the back while listening to music in a park.

The Labour politician was escorted through the Gatwick terminal before he reached the departure gate.

A witness who saw him on the flight to Morocco told The Sun: ‘He sat at the window and kept his cap on during the whole flight.’

The Mayor’s office said: ‘Sadiq is on a short break with his wife and is in touch with the Met Police Commissioner and with City Hall at all times. He is back in the office on Tuesday.’

Ms Chesney was murdered while playing music with her boyfriend, 18-year-old Eddie Coyle, and four other friends in Romford on Friday evening.

Her family have been left stunned at why the teenager, who was a popular member of the local Scout group, would have been so brutally attacked.

Police have said the attacker did not say anything to Jodie or her group of friends, and immediately ran off after the stabbing.

Friends of Ms Chesney have suggested the attack may have been a case of mistaken identity.

Others went online to tell her family that ‘gang members were tasked with murders to gain entry to groups’, or that a gang member may have been ‘dared to stab a random person to show their loyalty’.

Ms Chesney’s grandmother, Debbie, told friends it was ‘a possibility’. She appealed to the attacker or anyone who knows him to contact police.

Scotland Yard have not said what they believe the motive is but detectives are understood to be examining a number of theories.

Ms Chesney’s boyfriend, Mr Coyle, has left an emotional message on a card at the scene, saying: ‘Jodie you are the best thing that could have happened in my life. I will love you always and you will forever be in my heart beautiful.’

Jodie’s mother Claire Gillham also left flowers at the scene of the murder yesterday while her grandmother called for an end to ‘needless violence’.

Ms Chesney’s death came on a weekend of violence around the UK, with 17-year-old Yousef Makki stabbed to death in the village of Hale Barns, near Altrincham in Greater Manchester, the following night.

Mr Khan wrote of his disgust at Ms Chesney’s murder in a tweet sent on Saturday.

‘Enquiries continue into last night’s horrific murder in Havering, and I remain in close contact with the Met Police Commissioner,’ he said.

‘Additional police patrols in and around the Harold Hill area are in place, and I urge anyone with information to contact the Met or Crimestoppers.’ 

 

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