A man has been charged with attempted murder after he stabbed a social worker who was attempting to check on the welfare of children at an address in Haringey.
A 61-year-old social worker employed by Haringey Council and two police officers were assaulted during the incident. Sulai Bukhari has been charged with one count of attempted murder and two counts of attempting to causing grievous bodily harm with intent.
He has been remanded in custody and will appear at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court on Monday 9 October. Two other men have been arrested in connection with the same incident and have been released under investigation. They were also arrested at a nearby property in connection with the incident and the nature of their involvement is still being established.
The incident occurred just before 8pm on Friday 6 August. Police were called to assist the social worker who was attempting to check on the welfare of children at the address. When access was refused, the officers forced entry.
While inside the communal area of the building, the social worker was stabbed multiple times. In their efforts to restrain the attacker, two police officers also sustained knife wounds.
The police officers who were injured were taken to hospital, but they were discharged in the early hours of Saturday morning. The social worker who was stabbed remains in hospital, but his injuries have been assessed as non-life threatening.
Steps have been taken to ensure the welfare of the children who were the subject of the initial welfare visit.
Chief Superintendent Treena Fleming, policing commander for Haringey and Enfield, said: “Social workers play a vital role in ensuring that vulnerable people in our community, including children, are safe and protected.
“We have a very close working relationship with our local authority partners and their social services teams and I am appalled at this shocking attack. We will do all we can to ensure the person responsible is brought to justice. Our thoughts here at North Area are with the injured social worker and his family and we wish him a speedy recovery.
“I would also like to pay tribute to the two officers who came to the aid of the victim in this incident, sustaining knife wounds themselves as they did so. I’m pleased that they have been able to leave hospital and we will make sure they have our full support as they recover from what would have been a traumatic experience.
“This incident shows just how much of a threat knives pose to everyone in Haringey and across London. Tackling violent crime is the Met’s number one priority and the events of Friday evening only serve to strengthen our determination as we continue to take weapons off the streets and bring offenders to justice,” added Chief Superintendent Treena Fleming.
The Leader of Haringey Council, Cllr Peray Ahmet, and the local authority’s Chief Executive, Zina Etheridge, said in a joint statement: “Social workers do an incredibly important job. Their safety is of uppermost importance to us. This type of incident, while rare, is an important reminder that frontline staff across the public sector put themselves in harm’s way to do their jobs and we should all express our thanks and support for them as they do so.
“We also want to express our admiration and respect for the two police officers, who we understand sustained their injuries while protecting the social worker.
“Haringey Council will provide all the necessary support to him as he recovers from this traumatic incident and to our wider teams, who will of course be concerned by what has happened,” the statement added.
BASW and SWU released a statement saying how appalled they were by the stabbing.
“Social workers carry out essential duties as emergency workers and this appalling incident highlights the danger that they often face. Social workers do a crucial and difficult job in protecting, supporting and advocating for vulnerable adults and children in communities up and down the UK,” said the statement.
“We and the wider social work community wish him and the police officers also attacked a full and speedy recovery,” the statement concluded.
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