Idris Elba calls for ‘tougher deterrents’ on carrying weapons after girl’s death

Idris Elba (Jeff Moore/PA)
Idris Elba (Jeff Moore/PA)

Idris Elba has sent his support to the family of schoolgirl Elianne Andam as he called for “tougher deterrents and punishments” to be enforced on those who carry weapons.

The 15-year-old was fatally stabbed in the neck with a foot-long knife in Croydon, south London, when she was on her way to school on Wednesday.

A 17-year-old boy, who knew the victim, was later arrested and the police are still questioning him.

London-born actor Elba wrote in a post on Instagram on Thursday: “Sending my condolences to the family of Elianne Andam at this very sad time.

“It is a shame that out country still mourns the deaths of children at the hands of knives.

“We NEED to enforce tougher deterrents and punishments to carrying these weapons.”

Elba, who starred in hit TV series The Wire and Luther, has previously spoken out against knife crime and supported those affected by it.

During a youth event by We Day UK charity in 2020, he addressed his own upbringing in Hackney, east London, explaining that he grew up amongst crime, poverty and gangs and some of the people in his neighbourhood “went down the wrong path, ended up doing the wrong thing”.

Croydon stabbing
Elianne Andam, 15, who was stabbed to death on Wednesday morning in Croydon, south London (Metropolitan Police/PA)

Last year, he fronted a campaign alongside former footballer Ian Wright to call for “no more bloodshed” after 30 teenagers “died senselessly” in killings in the capital in 2021.

As part of the “No More Red” initiative, they were campaigning for an increase of spaces for young people which may offer an alternative to gang violence.

Earlier on Thursday, the Prime Minister said he was “shocked” and “appalled” at Elianne’s death, and said sentences for knife-related crimes should be toughened.

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. 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.