CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Kentish Town murder: Stab victim named as Jack Ampadu

Camden police vow to 'work tirelessly' to catch killers

18 February, 2021 — By Bronwen Weatherby

Flowers in Highgate Road

THE borough’s most senior police officer has vowed that detectives will “work tirelessly” to find the killer or killers of a man who was stabbed to death in Kentish Town on Monday evening.

Extra patrols have been in the area since the death of the 38-year-old – named last night (Wednesday) as Jack Ampadu – at Denyer House in Highgate Road.

A nurse who is a tenant in the block was said to have tried to save his life, before paramedics arrived and carried on their efforts for an hour, but Mr Ampadu was pronounced dead at the scene.

Post-mortem investigations confirmed the cause of death was a stab wound. A tarpaulin covered a balcony walkway and police tape was also erected blocking off each entrance to the estate including in Ingestre Road estate as forensic officers searched for clues.

Mr Ampadu lived in Camden but was not a resident of the estate. He had been visiting before he was stabbed at around 7.30pm.

Borough commander Chief Superintendent Raj Kohli said: “I am aware of multiple rumours circulating about this case and as soon as we’re able to tell you what happened we will. Until then, if you have any information about the incident, please tell us, a local councillor or someone you trust.”

A police tarpaulin at Denyer House this week

Two men, both aged 37 years old, were arrested nearby on suspicion of murder. One man remains in custody but had not been charged as the New Journal went to press last night (Wednesday). The second man has been released with “no further action”.

Chief Supt Kohli said: “No matter what the circumstances are, losing someone is horrible and I can’t imagine what his family is going through right now. We will work tirelessly with the murder team investigating to get justice for the victim and his family.”

The killing has left neighbours feeling shocked and Highgate councillor Anna Wright said calls had been made to tenants on the estate with offers of support. The investigation is unfolding amid concerns about increased levels of violence.

Borough Commande Ch Supt Raj Kohli

Mr Ampadu was the fourth man to be stabbed to death in London in 10 days – two of the other killings happened in neighbouring boroughs. Sven Badzak, 22, died on the Brent side of Kilburn, while 15-year-old Romario Opa died in Archway last month.

Last night (Wednesday), another man – believed to be in his 30s – was killed in Haringey. Police beieve he was stabbed.

Camden Council leader Georgia Gould said: “We’re really worried about the rise in violence we’re seeing, not just in Camden but across London. What happened this week is absolutely terrible and my heart goes out to the victim’s family and friends.”

She added: “It’s awful for people who live here, but there is a strong community around Denyer House, and talking with some of the residents, there was a real sense that they are committed to taking action to keep people safe.”

Talking about violent crime generally in the borough, Cllr Gould said: “There’s sadly an aggressive drugs market in Camden, with gangs that groom young people, and that’s certainly a driver of some of the violence.

“Poverty is one of the biggest reasons people, and especially young people, are pushed into exploitative situations with gangs or into drug activity, and that’s only getting worse right now.”

Police tape off the Ingestre Road estate on Monday evening

Cllr Gould visited Denyer House on Tuesday alongside Sir Keir Starmer, the MP for Holborn and St Pancras. Both were members of a youth safety taskforce after a spate of killings in 2019.

“It is our focus now to create a recovery plan where we can support young people and work with police to disrupt this violence. The last thing we want is for the situation to get worse,”Cllr Gould added.

Detective Inspector Eliot Porritt, the head of Camden’s violence suppression unit, said: “Violence has flared up all over London, but while it might feel like there has been a spike in violence here, it’s not as bad as it’s made out to be.  Across Camden and Islington we’re still well below last year’s comparative numbers before the pandemic and we still have the fewest knife crime victims compared to the rest of London.”

He added: “The murder this week happened inside a private residence, and incidents like this one are almost impossible to police against and is very different to the other two murders that have happened recently. “But there’s no doubt that as things open up again and there’s more people about on the streets it is going to get worse and it’ll feel like there’s a huge jump in crime, so this is not a time for us to take our eye off the ball.”

Anyone with information relating to the stabbing at Denyer House is asked to call police via 101 or tweet @MetCC quoting reference Cad 6507/15Feb. To give information anonymously call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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