Sussex stabbing: Residents react to ‘tragic’ death of 18-year-old
Colin Oliver Wells, known as Ollie, tragically died after being stabbed at a house in Elphick Road, Newhaven, on Monday night. He was just 18 years old.
His family have since issued a heartfelt tribute to him, describing him as ‘a much loved member of our family’.
Police arrested a 16-year-old boy at the scene on suspicion of murder. He remains in custody for interview and further enquiries.
In the wake of the stabbing, residents have taken to social media to share their grief and shock.
Amy Page said it was ‘shocking’ and ‘so sad for all’.
Susie Arlett said: “Very tragic, thoughts and prayers with family and friends.”
Carole Chick blamed a ‘lack of resources’ for rising levels of crime and violence in the town.
“Not so long-ago we had cars burnt out in Elphic Road. Although locals had a good idea who was responsible, police did nothing,” she said.
“There was escalating vandalism before that incident. Again, residents had a good idea who was responsible, but no action taken.
“Now, we have a murder in the same road. Why has Newhaven police station been closed? We don’t even have a PCSO to patrol our streets.
“We need our elected representatives to start fighting for adequate policing, before our town descends into anarchy, and we begin to take matters into our own hands.”
Gwen Knight praised the police and paramedics for their efforts, but said we did not have the manpower anymore to deal with or prevent such incidents.
“We’ve suffered masses of cuts to our services that sadly aren’t coming back no matter how many magic money trees, benefit reductions/tax increases we have,” she commented.
“I will say this though, the police they sent along with the paramedics were amazing and brave and did so very well despite being over worked and underpaid. We’re lucky to have them.”
A man who lives next door to where the fatal stabbing took place has described the moment he was woken up by ‘screaming and shouting’.
The 36-year-old set up a fundraising page after an arson attack in the road in October last year.
Five parked vehicles were deliberately set on fire in the early hours of the morning. The flames spread to the frontages of nearby houses in which people were asleep.
Police are appealing for witnesses to the stabbing, or who has any other information that may help them with their enquiries.
Detective Inspector Simon Dunn of the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team said: “This is a tragic incident and we are working to establish the full circumstances. It is already clear that the victim and his alleged assailant are known to each other and we are not currently looking for anyone else suspected of having been involved in the attack itself.
“We are keen to speak to anyone who was in the vicinity of Ship Street and Elphick Road in the late evening and who may have witnessed an altercation between two individuals.
“Anyone who saw what happened, or who has any other information that they feel would help our enquiries is asked to contact us online or by calling 101, quoting Operation Tamworth.”
“Ollie’s family are being supported by our specially trained officers and have asked to be left to grieve privately.”
Lewes District Inspector Ed Ripley said: “We are reassuring local residents that the investigation is contained to the location involved and that there is no danger to the wider community.
“Our officers are in the area to advise and assist anyone who has particular concerns on learning of this matter, or who has any information they want to pass on.”