A man was stabbed to death at a youth club near Loughborough Junction on Thursday evening in what detectives say was a ‘premeditated and targeted attack’.

Emergency services were called at quarter-to-seven last night (Thursday, February 21), to reports of a man stabbed in Minet Road, SW9.

Officers gave the 23-year-old victim first aid and London’s Air Ambulance attended, but he was pronounced dead at the scene at 7.27pm.

A crime scene is still in place, and although the victim has not been formally identified, the Met says officers are confident they know his identity and next of kin have been informed.

DCI Mick Norman, from the Met’s homicide and major crime command, said: “This was an appalling attack on a young man in a youth centre – a place where he was entitled to feel safe.

“All the early indications are that this attack was premeditated and targeted.

“My team need to hear from those who were at the youth centre either before, during or after that attack.

“The youth centre was open at the time and sadly many young people present would have witnessed what unfolded.

“Many of them will be shocked and traumatised by what they saw and perhaps fearful of potential reprisals if they speak to police.

“I would urge them to get in touch and if they want to do so anonymously they can either call Crimestoppers via 0800 555 111 or give information anonymously online via the Fearless website.

“Anyone with information about the attacker(s) is also urged to get in touch.”

Officers say detailed forensic and CCTV analysis is taking place but so far no arrests have been made.

A post-mortem will be held at an unconfirmed date.

Detective Superintendent Sian Thomas said neighbourhood patrols would be ‘stepped up’ in the area. She urged alarmed residents to allow officers to do their work.

“Tragically the local community is now coming to terms with the senseless loss of life.

To take a young life at a place designed to help support and nurture young people is appalling,” she said.

“I completely understand the alarm and concern it has raised from those who live and work in the area and particularly for young people, many of who used the youth enterprise centre regularly.

“A crime scene will remain in place today as officers continue their painstaking work to piece together the details of the attack.

“I would urge the local community to be patient and cooperate where possible with the work detectives are getting on with in the area.

“My officers will be out working to support investigators today and be there to talk to the public and listen to the concerns they have.

“Neighbourhood patrols will be stepped up in the area and locals can expect to see more police. I would urge anyone with information on the attack to contact police without delay.”

Information can be given anonymously through Crimstoppers, a charity independent from the police which does not take details from callers, on 0800 555 111, or through Fearless, a website for young people worried about crime.

To contact the Met, call 101.