Three stabbings have taken place up and down the Uxbridge Road this evening, each at around 6pm. This would account for the police helicopter that was hovering over the area for at least an hour at around that time, which several of you reported to me and which I saw myself.
There are at the moment police officers in Shepherd's bush that have been drafted in from East London due to the seriousness of the situation that is taking place here, and there is set to be a heavy presence particularly on the Uxbridge Road for the rest of tonight.
The situation this evening is still unclear but I have been told by one police officer that the three took place so that much I do know. But what is deeply worrying is the extent of police chaos and frankly incompetence I have also seen on display this evening.
I was referred by one Officer to Shepherd's Bush police station where I was told the Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) were talking to the public concerned by what has happened. When I got there the door was sealed off with a large white wooden board and had a notice with a telephone number on to contact. So I rang it. The number, ladies and gentlemen, is incorrect. So, in other words, we have a series of stabbings which means witnesses will be at a premium - they might well think going to the local police station would be the place to go. But it's shut and the number is duff.
I have also just approached members of the Shepherd's Bush SNT who I met on the Bloemfontein Road. After introducing myself to one of the Constables I was answered with "nah, I'm not telling you nuffink" as he barged his way past. He is PC 5173.
When I spent a Saturday night with these guys the other week, which thankfully didn't involve PC 5173, I was genuinely impressed by the dedication, skill, sensitivity and intelligence that was on display. There was an incident but in the grand scheme of things it wasn't that serious. This incident very much is, and I have to say watching their haphazard response this evening I am not filled with confidence.
2330 UPDATE - I understand from a witness that one of the stabbings took place on the corner of Hetley Road and Uxbridge Road.
2335 UPDATE - A reader who is also a police officer has sugggested that the number 5173 suggests that PC 5173 is in fact a "Special Constable" - somebody who works for free in their spare time but usually because they want to be a full time police officer.
If you know anything to share with your fellow Bushers use the comments section as usual
SUNDAY UPDATE - I understand that three people were wounded in the separate attacks, two of whom are teenagers, and that the police are treating the incidents as potentially linked. More to come.
1400 SUNDAY UPDATE - The police have been in touch about the dodgy telephone number on display last night. Here's what a spokesman had to tell me:
"The telephone number on front of police station is incorrect. We have failed to update the number which has recently changed"Er, right. The spokesman asked me to highlight that the non emergency telephone number for police is 101.Happy to do that. More details on the way...
1530 SUNDAY UPDATE: A police spokesperson has now given me a full statement of the events of last night. Here is what he said:
"Regarding the evening of 16th July 2011.I've also had the chance to talk to the Safer Neighbourhood Team about some of the criticisms I made last night, in particular of Officer 5173. The off-duty police officer/blog reader who suspected he was a Special Constable was right, he is. And I've been politely told that he doesn't necessarily want to be a full time officer but is instead trying to make a contribution to his local community.
At about 5.05pm a 16 year old male was stabbed at 248 Uxbridge Road W12. Police attended within 2 minutes of receiving the call. Male at scene had received serious but not life threatening injuries and was taken to hospital by ambulance.
At approximately 6pm a 21 year old male was found on Uxbridge Road with a serious cut to his face. Police assisted the male and he received hospital treatment.
At about 6.50pm a 15 year old male received stab wounds in Emlyn Gardens W12. He was taken to hospital and released soon afterwards.
These crimes are being treated seriously. Any information regarding these incidents should be directed to DC Downes at Hammersmith Police Station on 0208 246 2432, please quote crime reference 6015207/11.
Information can be given anonymously via Crime Stoppers who can be contacted on 0800 555 111.
Non emergency enquiries with Police can be made by dialling 101."
It was pointed out that this is not unlike what I am trying to do with this blog. And to be honest, he has a point. It's a lot easier to write this website than deal with people running about with knives - so although I still think he could have handled it a little bit better, I do have a huge amount of respect for both him and others who are giving up their time to make our streets safer.
And the officer I have just spoken to concedes the phone number being wrong was a bit incompetent - it's fixed now.
last stabbing on Vespan Road another of the Chronicle's team saw fit to boast on Twitter, while the incident was still unfolding, that they had been "first with the local news" - which translates as they got there before I did. Not what was foremost in most people's minds at the time.
I write this blog because I live here, and what happens here affects not just me but friends and family. So I would just ask those who try to report on our community, which they are not part of themselves, to do so with a bit more thought about what it is they are actually reporting - we don't need to be whipped up, people are worried enough as it is with what seems to have been a spate of similar incidents recently.