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29 September 2023

PM ‘shocked’ and ‘appalled’ by Croydon stabbing and calls for longer jail terms

29 September 2023

People who commit the most serious crimes should spend longer in prison, the Prime Minister has said following the fatal stabbing of a schoolgirl in south London.

Rishi Sunak told the BBC he is “shocked” and “appalled” after Elianne Andam, 15, was fatally stabbed as she made her way to school in Croydon on Wednesday morning.

A 17-year-old boy was arrested just over an hour after the attack and remains in police custody.

Rishi Sunak told BBC London’s political editor Tim Donovan: “Everyone will be looking at that and be shocked as I am, appalled by what’s happened and quite frankly angry.

When people just do the most awful things they should just go to jail for a very long time and life should mean life

“It just illustrates the importance of clamping down on knife crime.”

He also told the broadcaster his values are that people who commit “the most heinous crimes” should be locked up for life.

When asked by BBC Points West presenter David Garmston what the Government is doing about knife crime in a separate interview he said: “(It) is appalling.

“The idea that a girl not much older than my own kids would have their life just cruelly ended in that way is shocking, it’s absolutely shocking.

“The solutions are to keep doing the things that we are doing, and that’s making sure we’re putting more police officers on the street.

“It’s also important to give them the powers that they need whether that’s stop and search … But most importantly we need to toughen up on the sentencing on the people who perpetuate these heinous crimes.

“When people just do the most awful things they should just go to jail for a very long time and life should mean life.”

The girl’s family said she was “the light of our lives” as they paid tribute to her on Thursday.

They said in a statement issued by police: “Our hearts are broken by the senseless death of our daughter.

“Elianne was the light of our lives.

“She was bright and funny, with many friends who all adored her.

“She was only 15, and had her whole life ahead of her, with hopes and dreams for the future.

“All those dreams have now been shattered.

“Our lives have fallen apart, along with that of our wider family.

“We ask the media to please respect our privacy as we try to grieve the short life of our beautiful child.”

Dozens of bunches of flowers have been left at the scene of the teenager’s death amid widespread shock at the tragedy.

She is the 15th teenage victim of homicide in London this year.

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