Stabbing of teen in Colchester’s Osborne Street leaves community in shock

Osborne Street in Colchester, where a stabbing took place. Picture: GEMMA MITCHELL

Osborne Street in Colchester, where a stabbing took place. Picture: GEMMA MITCHELL - Credit: Archant

Colchester MP Will Quince has described a knife attack in the town that left a teenager seriously hurt as “deeply alarming”.

Osborne Street in Colchester, where a stabbing took place. Picture: GEMMA MITCHELL

Osborne Street in Colchester, where a stabbing took place. Picture: GEMMA MITCHELL - Credit: Archant

Essex Police has launched an attempted murder investigation following the incident in Osborne Street, near a bus station, around 12.30am today.

A 17-year-old boy was badly injured and is in hospital.

A police spokesman said: “This appears to be a targeted attack and we do not believe there is a threat to the wider public.”

Officers are searching for two teenagers in connection with the stabbing.

Mr Quince said: “I wish the 17-year-old all the best in terms of his recovery and I hope the police catch the suspects.

“Any crime of this nature involving a weapon is hugely concerning but in the majority of these cases they aren’t random attacks, it’s individuals who know the individual and they tend to be drug or gang related.

“So yes you always have got to be careful in particular late at night. I think the best thing people can do is take the advice of the police but of course any attack of this nature happening in our town is deeply alarming.”

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Jill and Martin Joslin work at the Bus Stop Barista, a mobile refreshment bar in Osborne Street.

Mr Joslin said he arrived at 8am but he was unable to start trading until 9.30am because police were carrying out forensic work and a cordon was in place.

Fewer people visited the Bus Stop Barista today, Mr Joslin said, possibly due to concern about the stabbing among the public.

Mr Joslin described the incident as “shocking”, while Mrs Joslin added: “Any age it is horrible but for a 17-year-old boy, that’s not nice.”

Colchester resident Nikki McKenzie said there had been a rise in violence and drug activity in Colchester.

He added: “There’s not enough police in the area. I haven’t seen any walking around this town.”

A businesswoman who has worked in that part of town for more than 30 years said it was normally peaceful.

In reaction to the stabbing, the woman said: “It’s quite scary.

“I think it might affect the bus station, people might think it’s not safe.

“I think people might feel vulnerable but as a business I don’t think it will affect us. I think the main concern is people waiting for buses late at night.”

Speaking generally, Mr Quince said there had been an increase in knife crime in Colchester, often fuelled by drug-use and involving gangs from London.

On Wednesday, Mr Quince raised this issue in the House of Commons and called for more resources to tackle the problem of so-called county lines.

During his speech to Parliament, Mr Quince said in just one night in Colchester there were six knife attacks and all those involved, the victims and the perpetrators, were from the capital and were members of rival drug gangs.

He said young people were being used as drug mules.

Colchester has also seen a rise in ‘cuckooing’, Mr Quince said, where a drug dealer takes over the property of a vulnerable person to run their illegal business.

Mr Quince said an A Class drug user had recently come to his constituency office reporting that gun-wielding drug dealers had taken over his flat and they had threatened to kill him if he returned.

Officers are appealing for anyone who witnessed the incident in Osborne Street or has any information to contact them on 101, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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