Second town centre stabbing in a week

Isaac Stone.
Isaac Stone.

Following the fatal stabbing of popular rapper Isaac Stone last week another man suffered stab wounds during a fight outside a Bedford town centre nightclub less than a week later.

Detectives are investigating the incident where a young man was stabbed in a fight outside The Vibe club in the early hours of Saturday.

The man, aged 20, and his friend, were attacked by a group of young black men, apparently with knives.

Both victims fought back, using their belts as makeshift weapons and swinging them at the other group.

With two serious stabbings less than a week of each other, we ask does Bedford have a growing knife culture?

Beds Police says no.

A spokesman for the force said: “Bedfordshire Police fully understands the concerns that the two recent serious incidents have caused those living and working in the town, these were not linked but isolated and targeted and are receiving our full attention.

“They do not reflect a wider problem with this type of offending.”

He added that serious knife crime has actually fallen by a third compared to the previous year.

He said: “It is important that we sustain this performance while tackling some really difficult issues in partnership with Bedford Borough Council and others with whom we work together to build a safer Bedfordshire.”

But a friend of murder victim Isaac, Lucinda Lawrence, 18, says Bedford does have a knife culture and it’s just getting worse.

She said: “I met Isaac through a mutual friend and we started hanging together. He was such a lovely guy, he would always come bouncing into a room and saying hello to everyone.

“I think Bedford definitely has a knife culture, people are going out with knives because they think it gives them power - it’s turned into an almost fashion statement.”

Daniel Dowson-Heap, operations manager for the premises licence holder of The Vibe nightclub, insisted the club has a strict search policy and nobody enters the club with a weapon.

He said: “I’ve worked in 16 towns and I have worked and lived in Bedford for seven years. It is a safe town, and that’s because of the preventative measures taken by venues. We don’t even let people inside with chewing gum because it can cause arguments.

“We have door staff who search everyone who comes in, even if someone goes out to a cash point, they are re-searched.”