The devastated parents of a teenage boy stabbed to death in South London remembered their son as an “angel” and called for harsher penalties to take knives off the streets.
Jermaine Cools was repeatedly stabbed close to West Croydon station on Thursday. He managed to get to a hospital where he later died.
“He was a family boy… friends and family they’re going to miss him and the way he was, like an angel, a happy boy,” Jermaine’s dad told ITV News London reporter Ria Chatterjee.
Julius Cools also called for more stop-and-search to control the number of knives being carried on Britain’s streets.
“This is ridiculous, it doesn’t matter who you are you should be stopped and searched. How can they have these knives and walk around killing people?” Julius said.
“We cannot blame the police, we have to be there, we have to be working with them to stop these things. The whole community an everyone in England,” he added.
Jermaine Cools Credit: Met Police
Jermaine’s death was the 27th teenage killing in the capital in 2021, equal to a previous peak in 2017.
“A lot of these murders and a lot of these young men that lose their life become a statistic on a piece of paper,” said Jermaine’s mum.
“Within 24 hours of what happened to Jermaine he was published as a victim of knife crime.
“So sadly a lot of these crimes that’s what happens, they become a statistic, a number on a piece of paper and nothing changes,” Lorraine Dudek added.
Jermaine’s family said no one stopped to help Jermaine “probably out of fear”.
Jermaine Cools’ mother Lorraine Dudek and father Julius Cools
“That’s got to change. So many people are going to lose their children if something doesn’t happen,” his family said, as they called for harsher penalties to tackle violent crime.
“Parents need to work with their kids. Where are these knives coming from?” Lorraine Dudek said.
“Where are children getting access to these knives?
“Where is the relationship with their parents to talk abut these knives and the education to know that these knives are wrong,” she added.
Police are appealing for anyone who saw the attack on Thursday evening to get in touch.
Any witnesses, or anyone with any information is asked to call police on 101, quoting reference CAD 6179/18Nov, tweet @MetCC or call Crimestoppers, 100 per cent anonymously, on 0800 555 111.