Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Two Brothers Were Stabbed to Death by a Gang on This Street despite Five 999 Calls. When Police Arrived after an Hour It Was Too Late

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Two Brothers Were Stabbed to Death by a Gang on This Street despite Five 999 Calls. When Police Arrived after an Hour It Was Too Late

Article excerpt

Byline: RICHARD EDWARDS;BO WILSON

POLICE were accused today of failing to respond to at least five 999 calls an hour before two brothers were murdered on a quiet street in Tooting.

One caller reported a violent mob of 20 men roaming around the area with weapons. But police were unable to send officers to the scene due to "stretched resources".

Locals described how violence escalated on the streets for at least 90 minutes before Hayder Ali, 24, and Mohammed, 23, were stabbed to death at about 12.15am on Saturday. It is believed they were attacked with machetes, wooden posts and a screwdriver It has been confirmed at least five people called police, at 10.45, 11.09, 11.13, 11.30 and 11.45 that night - and another five people claim they dialled 999 earlier.

Some of them were told that local units were being sent to deal with the incidents - but the police never arrived.

One man who witnessed the attacks told the Standard: "It was disgusting incompetence.

If they had turned up earlier this could have been prevented. When it happened I was left shouting out 'Where are they?'" Police today admitted they initially had no units to deal with the calls - because of an earlier acid attack on two police officers in Wandsworth.

They claim they "dealt" with reports of men on the street carrying weapons.

But no police were on the scene until after 12.15, when the two fatal stabbings were confirmed. There were up to 40 police constables on duty that night, two sergeants and a duty inspector.

The two brothers were murdered on Fircroft Road after they fled from a gang who attacked a van they were sitting in.

Locals on adjacent Foulser Road said the violence had been escalating for hours. One female graduate who works in PR said: "I called police at 10.47pm and told them there were 20 Asian men in the road outside my window having a fight. …

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