Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Knifed as He Asked Yobs to Be Quiet; Shadow of Violence Hangs over These Streets despite Makeover

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Knifed as He Asked Yobs to Be Quiet; Shadow of Violence Hangs over These Streets despite Makeover

Article excerpt

Byline: KATHARINE BARNEY;ROBERT MENDICK

THE SIGN in the children's playground that lies at the heart of Evergreen Square and just yards from last night's stabbing tells its own story.

"Game over for knives," it proclaims, before continuing: "Knives and robbery are not a game, the results are real and can be lethal.

Ring Crimestoppers anonymously and make it game over for knife crime."

Just beyond the noticeboard, three sides of the square are taped off.

Scene-of-crime officers are crawling all over the estate, gathering evidence and trying to piece together the terrible events that led to the bloody and violent murder of

Stevens Nyembo-Ya-Muteba.

Another notice further betrays the problems of the neighbourhood - an open letter from police to drug dealers boasting of "successful operations" that have led to a "large number of arrests".

The sign concludes: "It will not be long before your identities are known and action taken against you."

Not quick enough, it now seems.

Brutal murders are no longer supposed to happen in places like Evergreen Square. The developmentwas only opened in 2003 - smart, low-rise council housing to replace the once terrifying Holly Street estate that dominated the area.

The estate was transformed, the architectural horrors of blind alleys and dangerous stairwells bulldozed into oblivion.

The square is wedged between Kingsland Road and Queensbridge Road in Hackney, an area that plays host both to ter rible urban deprivation but also to swish rows of Victorian and Georgian terraced houses.

Tony and Cherie Blair lived in a house round the corner in Mapledene Road - their first marital home - in 1980 until moving to more fashionable Islington six years later.

Nowadays a three-bedroom terrace in the Blairs' old street fetches around [pounds sterling]600,000. …

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