Armed officers have been called in to patrol neighbourhoods after a series of gang-related incidents left a teenager dead and four others injured.

Waltham Forest Police announced extra patrols after an 18-year-old man who was stabbed in the stomach in Mount Pleasant Road, Walthamstow last Thursday died in hospital on Monday, November 20.

He was attacked just two days after another 18-year-old man was stabbed as he ordered a sandwich in Subway in St James Street, Walthamstow on Tuesday evening.

Another man who was in the restaurant at the time was sprayed with an “unknown substance”. Both victims’ injuries are not life-threatening.

A Section 60 Order was issued, giving police stop and search powers, after a 17-year-old boy was stabbed in the leg in Carlton Road, Walthamstow shortly after 12.30pm on Sunday, November 19.

The fourth gang-related incident to occur in seven days in Walthamstow happened when a 17-year-old boy was shot in a fast food restaurant in Wood Street on Monday night.

In a statement Waltham Forest Police said: “This week has seen a number of incidents in Waltham Forest borough that have left young men seriously injured.

“This has now resulted in the fatal stabbing of a young man from Walthamstow, who has died from his injuries.

“Our thoughts are with the family and friends of this man, who was only 18, who has lost his life to a senseless act of violence.

“We have reason to believe many of these incidents are linked to gang activity and all these crimes are being vigorously investigated by Waltham Forest detectives and specialist officers from the Homicide and Major Crime Command.”

A number of arrests have been made and weapons including large knives were seized.

Police say they “fully understand the enormous concerns” of residents and have introduced new measures to reassure the communities.

“These include an increase in visible presence, including some armed officers.

“We will be using information gained from officers and members of the public to carry out targeted and proactive stop and searches; we intend to arrest and prosecute those who are carrying weapons.

Police are urging anyone with information on gang activity in their communities to call them or to tell a church or youth worker.

To give information call police on 101 or tweet @MetCC or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.