Murder investigation launched following Lewisham stabbing


Molesworth Street where Rukevwe Tadafe was stabbed to death. Pic: Google Streetview

A murder investigation has been launched following the death of a 21-year-old who was stabbed in Lewisham last Saturday.

Rukevwe Tadafe was found with knife wounds on Molesworth Street behind Lewisham Shopping Centre around 8.40pm on Saturday April 30.

He was rushed to a south London hospital but died Thursday (May 5) morning with his family by his side.

This investigation comes only one month after another murder in Lewisham where a 17-year-old boy was fatally stabbed.

In 2015, 15 teenagers were killed by knife crime in London, the highest level in seven years. 429 stabbings between 2012 and 2014 occurred in Lewisham, the ninth highest out of all London boroughs.

The murder of Rukevwe Tadafe is one in a series of increased knife crimes that, according to Metropolitan Police’s figures, are related to both gang and street violence.

These crimes have led police to their third phase of Operation Sceptre, an initiative set on preventing knife crime, targeting areas with high levels of knife crimes and gang violence.

Overall there have been 772 arrests from the initiative, 92 of which were for possession of a knife or weapon.

Specialist officers from Trident and Area Crime Command, along with Safer Neighbourhoods Teams will work together by patrolling in places where there is a risk of gang violence and people carrying or using knives illegally.

Detective Chief Superintendent Kevin Southworth, head of Trident and Area Crime Command said: “Far too many families have been devastated by the impact of knives and one young life lost is one too many. We are committed to doing all we can to reduce knife crime, tackle London’s gangs and take more knives and weapons off our streets.

“It is for this reason that we tackle the problem head-on with operations such as Operation Sceptre.”

Metropolitan police said: “The tactics being employed throughout Operation Sceptre are designed to make it harder for people to carry knives or to have them readily available to use in crime.

“Officers will carry out school visits delivering presentations aimed at deterring young people from becoming involved in gang culture and knife crime.”

“We will not stop in our efforts to remove knives from dangerous hands by proactively targeting known violent offenders and stopping and searching people to detect and deter the carrying of weapons.” Southworth said.

Rukevwe Tadafe’s murder investigation is being led by Detective Chief Inspector Dave Whellams from the Homicide and Major Crime Commands.

No arrests have been made.

Police are asking any witnesses or anyone with information to contact the incident room on 020 8345 3775 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.


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