East London may be gentrified, but it didn’t stop my daughter being mugged at knife-point in Hackney

East London may be gentrified, but it didn’t stop my daughter being mugged at knife-point in Hackney

This is depressing if unsurprising. My elder daughter, Lily and her then-boyfriend were mugged, aged 15, by two grown men, one of whom was carrying a large serrated zombie knife.

It was broad daylight, a Sunday afternoon, and their assailants, who reeked of weed, stopped and separated them.

My daughter foolishly said she was not carrying a phone – and was immediately frisked. Her mobile was fortunately in her hoodie pocket. Her boyfriend wisely handed over his iPhone – but when he turned to see what was happening to Lily, he found the cold blade suddenly pressed against his bare stomach amid threats that he would be stabbed. He was only 15 as well.

They were just a couple of minutes away; on a residential road where houses sell for £2 million-plus. The police came swiftly, but the muggers were long gone.

No figures are available for gun crime but we appear to be under siege. Last December, a 42-year-old woman died of gunshot wounds and a teenage boy and a 20-year-old were injured in an attack near the park where we walk our dogs.

In February of this year, two men were convicted over a gang shooting in a Hackney nightclub, where a man was shot in both legs.

April saw four members of a Hackney gang jailed for a total of 76 years at the Old Bailey for a wide range of drug and firearms offences, including shootings in Hackney in March and May 2020.

And just a fortnight ago, a woman was shot in the leg near our local Morrisons – although police say she was not the intended target.

Neither was the unidentified girl currently fighting for her life after the horrendous random shooting last night on a parade of cafes where we regularly dine.

On its website, Evin restaurant explains that the word means “love” in Kurdish and “your home” in Turkish. Right now in my corner of Hackney, home has never felt so unsafe.


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