Leo Marcus: Murder victim’s dad says pain is ‘never ending’

The father of a young man who tragically lost his life to a stabbing incident in south-east London expressed the enduring pain of his loss. Cliff Marcus, whose 22-year-old son Leo was fatally stabbed during a failed mugging in Woolwich in July 2019, shared the heartbreak he experienced upon receiving the devastating news.

“When I learned about Leo’s death, my heart shattered. I felt completely empty,” said the 57-year-old father.

His remarks coincided with Operation Sceptre, an annual week-long initiative aimed at addressing knife crime in England and Wales.

Cliff Marcus actively participated in Operation Sceptre, joining forces with six uniformed and twelve plain-clothed Metropolitan Police officers on patrol in Croydon. Their activities included conducting stop and searches and carrying out thorough inspections to locate weapons.

Superintendent Mitch Carr, responsible for local neighborhood policing, acknowledged the long-standing issue of youth involvement in gangs in Croydon. He emphasized the ongoing concerns of the public regarding weapon-carrying individuals and the unfortunate occurrence of stabbings in the area.

Acting Police Sergeant Jack Fordham expressed the objective of Operation Sceptre, which is to demonstrate a visible police presence in the community, assuring both residents and commuters of their safety.

In 2021, Croydon garnered the unfortunate reputation of being the knife crime capital of London, with five teenage murders recorded—the highest number among all boroughs in the city. Throughout the capital, a total of 30 teenage murders occurred during the same year.

Anthony King, a youth worker who joined the operation, highlighted the collaborative efforts between the Met Police and community organizations in order to shift the tide and alleviate fear among young people. Mr. King serves as the chair of the My Ends project, a community group that facilitates dialogue among young individuals, local police, and school leaders to address the challenges faced by the borough.

He further stated that cooperation with the police has significantly contributed to building trust and confidence within the community, ultimately leading to a reduction in serious violent crimes.

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