Man repeatedly threatened to stab me and my partner in the head outside our home. They catch him but immediately release him without charge.
As me and my partner returned home from doing some late evening shopping, a hooded black male dressed all in black approached us as we were about to open the door to our housing block.
I immediately knew that we were in for trouble and reached for my keys. I had been attacked on the same street only two years earlier.
He started asking me for directions to Howard Street, a road that doesn’t exist. I knew that it was a ploy and told him there wasn’t a Howard Street around here, and so did my partner. He told her to shut up and that he would stick something in her head if she didn’t.
I told him we were done and he should go. I had my keys in my hand already and weighed up whether I should preemptively strike him in the face.
‘Cunts,’ he said, ‘I’ll stick something in you. I’ll put something in your head.’
I told him to leave right now. He was only half a metre away from us both. My partner told him we didn’t want any trouble and he should go.
‘I’m not talking to you you cunt. I’ll stick something in your head. I will you know, I do that.’
‘I’m talking to you,’ he said turning to me, ‘look at my phone.’ He held out his phone.
‘Go now’ I said, ready to strike him.
I started to unlock the door to show I wasn’t afraid of him, and he left. Immediately he went up to someone else on the street.
‘Call 999,’ I said. We followed him at a distance as he approached a number of people on Judd Street. I didn’t want someone to get attacked on their own.
Eventually a police car arrived. He took off trying to get away.
The police stopped him and began to search him. Eventually five or six cars turned up. People opened their windows to watch. We were interviewed by an officer. We were both shaken.
Eventually an officer came back over to us. He explained that the man didn’t have a knife on him, and that he had only gotten angry because we had refused to give him directions. ‘Not giving any excuses but it’s because of Black Lives Matter recently, there’s a lot of sensitivity at the moment, he got annoyed because you were dismissive of him.’
We tried to explain that he wasn’t asking for directions, that he had threatened to stab us both multiple times. ‘The thing is there’s no intent. He didn’t actually get a knife out and didn’t ask for anything. If he had asked for your phone that’d be a different story. He doesn’t have a history of doing this.’
‘It depends what you want to do with this. We can take him to the station and serve a Section 4 on him. But that’s just the equivalent of someone saying ‘fuck off’ to you. You’d both have to give statements. In the end, you’d end up spending longer at the station than him.’
So that was it, they let him go right there and then. Apparently it is now perfectly legal to go around hooded up threatening to stab people in the head. As long as you don’t actually have a knife or ask for anything in return it doesn’t matter.
Please consider carefully where you walk at night, and go in groups. Our street was the scene of a rape at knifepoint only a few months ago. A few months before that there was an attempted child abduction. And a few months before that, I was attacked by a homeless person for not giving money. It seems the police have given up on policing London, and that being assaulted is now a normal and expected part of living here.