'I just want to leave': Residents at Elmington Estate on the 'war zone' that used to be their home
A mass fight involving almost 30 teenage boys and 'zombie' knives took place in the children's play area
Elmington Estate in Camberwell, South London, now resembles a post-apocalyptic war zone with many residents living behind security doors with iron bars and grills on their windows. This has become one of the most common sights of a community under siege.
One woman who lives in the estate said: "There is nothing to be done anymore. I just want to leave." She went on to describe the neighborhood as being a "war zone". The rise in shootings and stabbings in Britain's capital city reached its peak last week in a major incident that took place outside the woman's home in Landor House, a five-story block of apartments located in the estate.
A mass fight involving almost 30 teenage boys and knives took place in the children's play area. A makeshift field hospital had to be set up in the estate to treat the wounded.
The teens who were hurt the most were put on IV lines and had oxygen masks on her faces before they were taken away on stretchers. Among the many casualties from the fight was a 15-year-old who had been disemboweled and was screaming his lungs out for his mother. The weapon used on him was alleged to be a long-bladed knife, reported the Daily Mail.
One week on detectives renew their appeal for information on stabbing in Camberwell - so far eight people have been arrested. Anyone with info should call 101 re CAD 5391/16 AUG.— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) August 23, 2018
The boy has been taken off the 'danger list' but his injuries are still life-changing with massive internal damage. He will probably have to spend months or maybe years in recovery.
It was reported that the reason the brawl started was a dispute over a belt, but the issue is clearly more deep-rooted than that. The boy, who had been stabbed was a member of the Moscow17 crew. Gangs like this are the ones that appear in drill rap videos and their faces are always covered in hoods, masks, and scarves. They also have the habit of bragging about stabbing and shooting people.
The members of Moscow17, it has been reported, have been having a brutal feud with another gang - Zone 2 from Peckham, which neighbors Camberwell to the east.
The longstanding rivalry between the two gangs and the unavoidable showdown is believed to be the actual reason why the brawl broke out in Elmington Estate.
The recent rise in crimes by gangs like Moscow17 is proof that authorities have lost complete control of the streets in the capital.
A rising concern
The statistics speak for themselves. The borough of Southwark, the area in which Camberwell lies, has been recorded as having the second highest levels of knife crime in the capital with a record 805 incidents in 2017.
According to the latest Home Office data, there were 349 crimes, including 92 'violent/sexual offences' that were committed within a half-mile radius of the estate in June of this year alone. This translates to about three crimes a day.
Brian Delgado, 57, lives in the estate and was returning from a store nearby when he spotted a 'zombie' knife being thrown away by someone before he saw him jumping into a van. It has been reported that several knives were found on the estate close to the area where the brawl took place. Although the knives are banned in the UK, they can be bought online for as little as £10. The weapon derives its name from zombie apocalypse films that frequently feature the knife.
Delgado said: "It was mayhem". Although he has given his statement to authorities, he admitted that he does not really want to testify in court if any criminal charges follow. He added: "I don’t want my home burned down."