Zac Goldsmith's letter to residents following Kew stabbing

Dear Resident,

I’m sure many of you are already aware of yesterday morning’s deplorable knife attack in Kew. I have met with the police and local residents who were close by, and I have been briefed on their investigation and the status of the victim.  The police have provided the following information for distribution:

Officers are appealing for information after a man was stabbed in Kew on Sunday, 20 January.  Police were called to Royal Parade at 07:54hrs and found a man, aged 57, suffering from a stab injury.  He was taken to a nearby hospital where his injuries were deemed not to be life-changing or life-threatening.  It is believed that the victim was walking to his car when he was attacked by a man attempting to carry out a robbery.  At this stage, it is not believed any of the victim’s possessions were taken. A knife was recovered at the scene and no other injuries were reported. 

Officers from the South West Command Unit are investigating and believe the suspect to be a black male wearing a dark hoodie and a snood at the time of the incident.  They are now keen to speak to anyone who may have been in the area at the time.  

Superintendent Rob Applegarth, from the Met’s South West BCU, said: “We recognise the community concern caused by this attack and will be conducting additional patrols in the area as a result.  Although this happened fairly early in the morning. we know people would have been up and about and in the vicinity at the time.  We are keen to establish the exact circumstances of this incident and would ask anyone with information to contact officers on 101 quoting reference 1985/20Jan.”

This morning I met local police outside Caffe Torelli, near where the incident occurred, and spoke to the staff there who assisted the victim yesterday morning. I was joined by Kew Councillor JF Burford.

This afternoon, during Home Office Questions in the House of Commons, I also asked the Police Minister to acknowledge the level of anxiety in London regarding the recent increase in crime, and to reassure residents not only that the issue is a top Government priority, but that he is doing everything he can to work with both the Met and the Mayor of London on a coordinated and full response. You can see the exchange here:

In recent months I have raised concerns directly with Ministers about the need for more funding for our police and I met with the Prime Minister in December to specifically discuss the issue of crime and to lobby her for additional resources. I welcomed the Minister for Policing’s subsequent announcement on the 13th of December that up to £14 billion will be allocated to the Police in 2019/20 - an increase of up to £970million on last year's funding. I have also hosted a series of public meetings with the local police in Richmond and North Kingston, where the police answered questions directly from  residents. There will be more such meetings in the future and I will ensure you are made aware of them.  

I want to assure you that keeping our community safe is a core priority for me as your Member of Parliament. There are few issues more important and I will continue to apply as much pressure as I can to ensure the safety of residents.

Best wishes,

Zac Goldsmith MP
Member of Parliament for Richmond Park and North Kingston