City teenager stabbings linked to gangs
Tom Bristow and Ben Hardy
- Credit: Archant
A brutal Norwich murder and the stabbing of a teenager several days later are being linked to a feud between warring gangs, this newspaper can reveal.
Last Friday, 18-year-old Joe Dix was stabbed to death in Vale Green, Mile Cross.
Then on Thursday afternoon another teenager was found with knife wounds in Motum Road.
Now police are flooding the city with officers in a bid to put a halt to the spike in attacks.
City folk can expect an increase in officers carrying out stop and search as they attempt to root out those involved in gangs and the drug trade.
According to multiple sources, the violence is linked to an ongoing campaign between gangs linked to county lines drug dealing.
The feud has been raging for at least a year with a stabbing last February in Mile Cross also linked.
But police say there remains several lines of inquiry regarding Mr Dix’s murder.
Norfolk Police chief constable Paul Sanford said: “We are going to significantly increase officers in the area – there is no end date to that. Any spare capacity I will be putting towards this.
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“I get the concern of the community about this. But the risk to the general public is very low.”
Last week sources privately voiced fears of retaliation for Mr Dix’s murder and on Thursday afternoon that appeared to be the case when a boy was attacked at around 2pm.
He was taken to hospital with injuries described as “serious but not life-threatening”.
Officers later arrested five people in nearby Magpie Road. It is believed all of those arrested have been released.
Much of the violence has centred around Mile Cross.
In February last year a teenager was stabbed outside Aylmer Tower, in Lefroy Road, with a knife puncturing his lung. He survived and police charged four people with the attack.
Allan Moss, 19, of Woodside Road, Norwich, Solomon Oguidi, 18, of Bowers Avenue, Norwich, and two teens, aged 16 and 17, who could not be named for legal reasons, admitted wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm.
In a hearing at Norwich Crown Court in October prosecutor John Farmer said the attack was part of “gang warfare”.
“The injured man had posted on YouTube three videos that were critical of and abusive towards the other gang,” he said.
The victim had been chased 400m and set upon after encountering a group of rival teens while walking his dog, he added.
“This was a pursuit like a pack of dogs pursuing an animal with the intent to beat him up,” he said.
Two men were arrested and later released in connection with Mr Dix’s murder.
Yesterday those living in and around the scene of the latest attack expressed their horror at the events of Thursday.
Gemma King, 29, who lives in Magpie Road, had officers searching her garden and an alleyway nearby.
She said: "Even though there were lots of police here to reassure us it was scary. I was feeling very anxious. I did not want to go out as I could see guns.
"Coming from Dagenham it's nice moving here and most of the people are lovely. I really hope it's not going downhill."
One 39-year-old mother of two living in Magpie Road, who did not wish to be named, said she was waiting with her daughter for 15 minutes in the rain as she returned from her daughter's school to see the road had been closed off.
"It is a shock," she said. "We have never really had any major problems here before.
"I asked an officer if we should be worried and he reassured me that everyone is safe."
North Norwich MP Chloe Smith met with police on Friday following the stabbings.
She said: "Norwich is a safe city, with knife crime or murder being actually very rare, and many other kinds of crime coming down, not going up. There’ll be a heightened police presence in the days ahead."