Police make three arrests re murder of Alan Cartwright

The Met Police has announced via Twitter today that it has made three arrests a 17 year old boy, a 21 year old man and and 18 year old man. 

The BBC say:

‘A boy, 17, and a 21-year-old man were arrested by police in Camden. Earlier a man, 18, was arrested after going to a police station. All three remain in custody.’

So it appears that someone handed themselves in.


More as we hear it.


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CCTV video of attack on Alan Cartwright 7:35 Friday night – did you see anything, have you seen the stolen bikes ?

Police have released shocking CCTV footage of the attack on Alan Cartwright that led to his death.  Be warned that this CCTV from above the Cally Road shows three people attacking Alan and his friends.

I have thought about whether to post this dreadful video on this website – but I want to support the police in their appeal for witnesses and information, they have released this footage to serve that purpose.  The precise location of the attack was outside the grocery store and electrical shop on the Cally just South of the junction with Copenhagen Street.

Have you seen the stolen bikes, do you recognise the descriptions of the suspects, were you driving or walking past or were you on a bus on the Cally?  Contact the police on the details below – they will treat information sensitively and anonymously.

If you want to join up with others trying to combat Islington knife crime see the Facebook group Islington Unites.

The police say in their appeal:

Detectives investigating the murder of 15-year old Alan Cartwright in Islington, have released CCTV of the moment he was attacked.

The moving footage shows Alan, from Islington, and three friends riding their bikes north along Caledonian Road, near the junction of Copenhagen Street, N1 on Friday, 27 February at 19.34hrs.

Without warning two suspects [Suspects one and two] step off the pavement from the right-hand side, into the road in front of Alan and his friends.

‘Suspect one’ immediately stabs Alan in the chest, whilst ‘Suspect two’ lunges at one of Alan’s friends, knocking him off his bike.

At the same time, a third suspect [Suspect three] crossed the road from the left-hand side and grabbed another of Alan’s friends and pulled him off his bike.

‘Suspect one’ rode south down Caledonian Road with suspect three on the back of the stolen bicycle.

‘Suspect two’ also left the scene on the bike he had just robbed and headed south along Caledonian Road.

Alan managed to continue a short distance near to the junction with Twyford Street, N1 before he collapsed. Police and the London Ambulance Service were called to the location, where the teenager was pronounced dead a short time later.

A post-mortem examination on Monday, 2 March gave the cause of death as a single stab wound to the chest.

Detective Chief Inspector Chris Jones, who leads the investigation for the Homicide and Major Crime Command, said:

“The footage of the suspects attacking Alan and his friends is truly shocking. Alan stood no chance of defending himself against his attacker who casually stepped out in front of him and stabbed him in the chest.

“Identifying and arresting the suspects is our absolute priority. We are working tirelessly and the investigation is moving at a fast pace.

“It is obvious from the footage that Caledonian Road is busy with cars and pedestrians. We have already spoken to a number of witnesses who have provided helpful information to the investigation; however I would like to re-appeal to anyone who may know something about Alan’s murder and the robbery of the bikes.

“Where are the two bicycles that were taken? Someone may have noticed a new bike brought home or perhaps you have been offered a similar bike for sale? If so, I would urge you to contact the police.

“I would like to reassure anyone who is worried about contacting the police that they will be treated with the utmost sensitivity.”

The bicycles stolen during the incident are described as:

A red “Specialized Hard Rock” mountain bike with disc brakes and black electrical tape on the frame. The second bike stolen is a black and red “Specialized Vita” pedal cycle with the word ‘Specialized’ in white, and a red stripe on the frame.

The three suspects are described as follows:

‘Suspect one’ is described as a male youth of slim build. He is believed to have been wearing a grey or dark coloured hooded top and dark bottom’s which could have had a keychain hanging from the rear pocket. He was wearing some sort of face covering but is thought to be white.

‘Suspect two’ is described as a male youth who was slim to medium build. He was wearing a black sleeveless jacket with a black hooded top underneath. He was wearing a shoulder bag across his body. He was also wearing a type of face covering but is thought to be black.

‘Suspect three’ is a male youth of medium build. He was wearing a thee-quarter length coat with a hood, which appeared to have some sort of trim around it. He is wearing a dark top with a multi-coloured motif on the chest. He is wearing lighter coloured bottoms and dark shoes. He is also covering his face. There is no information as to his ethnicity.

Police are asking anyone with information to call the incident room on 020 8345 3734 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via crimestoppers-uk.org.

Posted in Anti Social Behaviour, Crime etc | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Subscribe to tweets from Kings Cross general election candidates #ge2015

TwitterOne way to stay in touch with what the likely candidates for Holborn and St Pancras and Islington South and Finsbury are up to is to follow them on Twitter.  Twittelection has Twitter lists for each constituency Holborn and StP and Islington S.

I have set up a combined Kings Cross list so you can follow them all with one click.  Please drop me a line with any issues or suggestions.  I might extend the list in the future to include other local tweeters who speak for the parties (e.g. the local party branches).

There is a health warning though – some candidates barely use twitter others, shall we say, over use it.


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Fatal stabbing – appeal for witnesses – corner Copenhagen and Cally

alan cartwright

To update this post – the police have now named the victim as Alan Cartwright aged 15 – our deepest condolences go to his family, one cannot imagine what they must be feeling.  If you have any information that may be relevant please call the police incident room on 020 8345 3734.

The police say in their appeal:

A murder investigation has been launched after a male was stabbed in Islington.

Police were called at 19:36hrs on Friday, 27 February to reports of a male collapsed in Caledonian Road, near the junction with Twyford Street, N1.

Officers and London Ambulance Service attended and the male, aged 15, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Next of kin have been informed. Formal identification awaits.

A post-mortem examination will be scheduled in due course.

At this early stage it is believed the victim was cycling north on Caledonian Road with friends when they were attacked, near the junction of Copenhagen Street, by three males who were walking in the opposite direction.

The victim suffered a single stab wound during the attack and two other members of the group had their bikes stolen. The victim managed to cycle further up Caledonian Road before collapsing.

The suspects made off from the scene, continuing south down Caledonian Road.

No reports of any other injuries.

Officers from the Homicide and Major Crime Command investigate and retain an open mind as to the motive for this time.

Detective Chief Inspector Chris Jones leads the investigation. He said:

“Caledonian Road would have been very busy at the time of the incident and I would appeal to anyone who witnessed this attack, or may have any information as to who is responsible, to come forward and speak to police.”

Anyone who witnessed this incident, or has information that could assist the investigation, is urged to call the incident room on 020 8345 3734 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

No arrests, enquiries continue.

= Officers from Islington will be carrying out patrols in the area to provide reassurance to the local community. Anyone with concerns should speak to officers directly or contact their local Neighbourhood Policing Team.

More over at the BBC who say:

‘A 15-year-old boy was stabbed to death when three men attacked him while he was cycling with friends.

Police have begun a murder inquiry after the victim was attacked near Copenhagen Street in Islington, north London, at about 19:30 GMT on Friday’

Sky News are also covering it.

A local resident messaged us on Saturday to say:

>Local police from the Safer Neighbourhood Team have just contacted me with the sad news that there was a fatal stabbing at the corner of Copenhagen St and Caledonian Rd at 8pm last night.

They are reaching out to the local community to see if anyone has any information or saw anything that might be useful.

If you have anything you’d like to speak to them about or think you saw anything relevant, please give them a call on 020 7421 0328.

Posted in Anti Social Behaviour, Crime etc, New | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Traffic backing up on Wharfdale Road and York Way – and news of a residents meeting

A local resident who lives with their family on Wharfdale Road has sent in these pictures of the traffic backed up at 1738, 0317 (in the morning) and 2040.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The resident says it’s like this ‘day and night’, ‘we have been getting headaches, coughing and my little boy’s asthma is getting worse’, (The council officer responsible for the traffic scheme) ‘Paul Taylor has agreed to a residents meeting, but so far the plan is to meet at the traffic light on Wharfdale Road on Wednesday,  March 4th at 7pm’

I shall see if I can get some confirmation of the meeting time etc and update here.  For some background on the Wharfdale 2-way see this blog post with a long comment thread including comments from Councillors Convery and Perry.

Posted in Transport | Tagged , , | 18 Comments

General Election 2015 Kings Cross – how do we cover it?

image - jesmond localThere’s an election coming in May (in case you hadn’t noticed) and we are debating how to cover it on this website.  First can I incite people to register to vote –

1) Go to www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

2) Fill in your name, address, date of birth and a few other details. You’ll also need your national insurance number, which can be found on your national insurance card, or in official paperwork such as payslips, or letters about benefits or tax credits.

3) After you’ve done the first two steps look out for a confirmation to say you’re registered.

The election in May 2015 is for the two Parliamentary constituencies that cover Kings Cross – ‘Holborn and St Pancras‘ and ‘Islington South and Finsbury‘. There are no council elections this time.  Frank Dobson is standing down and according to Wikipedia Emily Thornberry is standing again.

I am open to suggestions as to how to cover the election locally.  My initial thoughts are:

When the election campaign starts proper I’d like to offer an article on the site of a few hundred words to each of the candidates in both constituencies, along the lines of how they would represent Kings Cross’s issues on the national stage and attend to local needs in parliament.  If there is an unmanage-ably long list of candidates then I shall shorten it to those whose parties are in the TV debates.

I shall also try and attend and film a husting event in each constituency and put it on the website.  I did this in 2010 when people commented that no one had organised a husting event in Kings Cross.  As the technology has moved on there’s really no reason why these can’t be streamed live.  The first of my 2010 videos has had over 300 views.  There were about 50 people in the room.

If there is some sort of online debate organised between the candidates then i shall signpost that from here.  I could even offer to host one I suppose.

Any views or comments welcome – either in the comments below or by email.


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Cally Road two way working – teething problems and de-snagging

Caledonian Road Two way workingThe return of the Cally Road to two way working has changed the traffic flows in Kings Cross at a time when they were changing anyway due to new development.  The new Cally two-way was designed to be part of longer term changes to get rid of the lethal 1970s gyratory that blights the area.  I lived on Wharfdale Road and the Cally in the gyratory for about three years all told and the traffic made it unpleasant.  So the changes it should only be seen as part of a whole, including for instance the huge improvement to Wharfdale with traffic calming ‘nibs’ and reduction in lanes and speeds.

Yesterday’s blog post on the single yellow line changes has set off a round of comments on the website and on email where people complain about the impact of two way working.  In particular long queues of standing traffic giving off fumes.  Cllr Convery in an email to a number of residents has written a detailed narrative on how things are going as the council addresses teething problems, wrestles with TfL and local developers with the long term goal of gyratory removal (which sounds like a dental practice and is about as pleasant) in mind.  Here’s Cllr Convery’s email:

The new Caledonian Road two-way traffic scheme is being monitored by the Council and will be fine-tuned to make sure any adverse impacts are dealt with. This will include the phasing of traffic lights and dealing with the risk of “rat-running” in any adjacent streets.

Please let me re-assure you that this scheme does not change the total number of vehicles using Wharfdale Road or Caledonian Road or the side streets. Forgive me is I repeat text int his reply which replicates things I may have said to some of those copied-in to this email.

Firstly, returning Caledonian Road’s one-way traffic system to two-way traffic is the initial stage of an ambitious plan to completely remove the gyratory system around Kings Cross. There is an increasingly realistic prospect that Transport for London, which is responsible for most of the major roads in the gyratory, will come forward with options to make this happen.

The main reason to return roads around Kings Cross to conventional two-way traffic movement is to change the balance between vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists. In short, we want pedestrians to become the main users of the area around Europe’s largest public transport interchange. The south end of Caledonian Road is now busy with pedestrians in volumes that no-one could imagine 10 or 15 years ago and it’s important that we reconfigure the highway so that it is less engineered for the benefit of vehicles that are driving through the neighbourhood coming from somewhere else and going to somewhere else.

The scheme has also allowed Islington Council to redesign the junction at Killick Street so that Wharfdale Road cycle users can now cross over to Killick Street (South) and towards Pentonville Road. This fits in to a plan which is shared with Camden to help cyclists bypass the worst of the Kings Cross intersection with its inherent dangers for cyclists.

We recognise that more work is needed, for example, installing directional signs from York Way into Caledonian Street and then left into Caledonian Road. This has to be done with Camden because it is the highway authority for York Way. Cyclist in particular have asked for better signing because it is a very much safer route for cyclists going from Kings Cross northwards. Because the new route is not widely known to users such as black cab drivers, the Council has asked the taxi trade (via LTDA) to publicise the changes to the road layout to encourage more black cabs to use the northbound lane. Some additional time will also be required whilst the street layout changes are incorporated into updated releases of GPS software.

Two further changes are now being considered by the Council:

The phasing of the lights at the Killick Street junction is now different to the previous signals and this is mainly to allow greater priority for pedestrians and cycles. The Council is monitoring the vehicle movements in order to adjust the signals phasing so that southbound traffic queuing at these lights returns to previous patterns.

Some vehicles are now rat-running from Wharfdale Road to All Saints Street to avoid the lights at the Killick Street junction and measures will be undertaken to reduce or stop this.

The Council is already consulting on changes to parking rules which will restrict parking on the northbound lane because traffic is being hindered by parked vehicles.

Over the wider area, there are two other improvements which Islington Council is considering although these will also require the agreement of Camden Council:

Remodelling the junction of Wharfdale Road and York Way in conjunction with the hotel development at 60 York Way to ensure a wider pavement, reduce the blind pedestrian corners and enable more pedestrians to use both pavements along York Way

Keeping the prohibited right turn from Goods Way south into York Way. This was originally introduced to prevent construction traffic using Wharfdale Road and over the past 3 years Caledonian Ward Councillors have insisted that Camden retains this restriction. The Goods Way/York Way junction is about to be rebuilt to provide 3 light controlled pedestrian crossings in place of the current single crossing. As part of that rebuild, the right hand turn prohibition (except cycles) will become permanent. This is one of the most important factors that protects Wharfdale Road from significantly greater vehicle volumes.

Traffic movements around the wider area have changed immensely in the past 2 years but particularly in the most recent 4 to 6 months. Now that Goods Way is no longer impeded, the volume of vehicles using Goods Way in both directions has massively increased. As you will recall there was a long period when it was completely closed and traffic volumes throughout the area reduced as a result. It has now become very actively used by traffic servicing the stations, the new N1C development and for traffic bypassing the whole Kings Cross area.

One particular impact which is very illustrative has been the massive increase in traffic using Copenhagen Street. Many mornings at 9am traffic is queued the entire stretch between York Way and Caledonian Road. On Copenhagen Street are 2 primary schools and a nursery / children’s centre and one of the hardest working school crossing (“lollipop”) officers I have ever met. That scale of change has all happened in the course of a few recent months as the ecology of traffic movement around Kings Cross has evolved in ways that were relatively unpredictable. For this reason, we are shortly to meet with Camden to discuss how S106 money (payments made to Camden by Argent, the N1C developers) will now be used to mitigate the effects of their development. In addition, we have secured further s106 money to improve highways around the hotel development at 60 York Way and I expect some of this will go to reduce traffic impacts on Wharfdale Road.

I am hopeful that we can adjust the Caledonian Road scheme so that it achieves the intention to calm the traffic on Caledonian Road, give priority to pedestrians and cyclists and mitigate or remove adverse impacts which have emerged.

One point not addressed here is the fiasco of the Institute of Physics at Balfe Street, that was permitted recently – this will attract 800 people a day to this part of the Cally and so far we see no plans to use S106 money from that to offset the local impact of this many visitors, their taxis and bicycles.

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Cally Road single yellow lines removal – does anyone know what is going on?


IMG_8097Bad news for local traders on the bottom of the Cally Road as the council proposes taking away some of the the single yellow lines to be replaced by double yellows.  There are two single yellow sections – opposite each mid-way between Wharfdale Road and Balfe Street. But a baffling notice from LB Islington on lamp posts (below) is alarming people and makes it hard to understand what is going on (see update below).

It’s an odd one this – Islington has a slightly unfashionable policy of making it easier for local people to use their cars for short shopping etc journeys across the borough, the so-called ‘Residents Roamer‘ ‘making it easier for you to shop locally or visit friends and family’ and the debate around this in 2011 was in part in the name of supporting local businesses.  And one of the purposes returning two way working to a section of the Cally Road always seemed to be to humanise a space dedicated to thundering road traffic at the expense of pedestrians and other road users.  So taking away short stop parking spaces for loading etc outside local homes and businesses in the name of smoothing traffic flow would be a bit odd.

The bottom part of the Cally has a number of small businesses that cling on in, at times difficult conditions. Tony Rees who runs a shop and lives in this bit of the road there has written to Cllr Convery about the proposed parking changes:

‘This will prohibit all parking, loading or unloading outside our homes and businesses at any time. This was never mentioned when the two way proposal was put forward, we would have vigorously opposed it if it had, and we can see no justification for it now. This is a fundamental change that will affect all the residents and businesses on our side of the road. It needs to be discussed properly with the council putting forward irrefutable evidence of the need for this change, not slipping it through with a load of other minor alterations across the borough. Can you please look into this for us and let us know exactly why the council think this change is necessary, and ensure the local community is properly consulted.’

The consultation notice is a masterpiece of statutory notice gobbledegook, with no illustrative map nor context:

cally road islington traffic control order


And they wonder why people don’t get engaged in local decision making.  I understand that there is somewhere a consultation notice – when I get that I shall post it here.  From a brief chat with a council officer I understand that this is part of the ‘post implementation review’ of two way working.  If anyone could give us chapter and verse on this it would be welcome – there’s nothing on the council website.  To declare an interest I own a small flat in this section of the road.


In the comments, Cllr Convery helpfully says:

‘ In plain language, it’s proposed to stop parking in the (newly restored) northbound lane of Caledonian Road. Now that Caledonian Road has 2 way working, vehicles parked in the northbound lane are an obstacle to northbound traffic. Vehicles and cyclists have to pull over potentially into oncoming southbound traffic. The Council is proposing to stop parking in the northbound lane to remove that risk.’

In parking-speak this is ‘waiting’ stopping your car and leaving it there.  This is different to ‘loading’ when you stop for deliveries etc.  LBI Officers have sent a map:

cally road parking waiting and loading proposals map

The map seems to confirm this but also proposes that loading in peak times is also restricted – which is painful if you are expecting a delivery.  Both these restrictions are corollary to the return of the Cally to two way traffic but weren’t advertised at the time – I am still not clear how a consultation on these changes is supposed to work – where the council provides evidence that the problem is severe enough to warrant these changes etc. and listens to what people have to say.   The statutory notice though says you can write to Public Realm, 1 Cottage Road N7 8TP quoting reference TMO/4399.

Posted in Road Safety in Kings Cross, Transport | Tagged , , | 8 Comments