Bank Holiday Monday on the Lincolnshire coast. Scorching hot weather and tourists eating ice cream on the beach. This family-friendly, pleasant and joyful scene was sadly smashed into bits when a man was stabbed to death in broad daylight just a few streets away from Mablethorpe seafront. Understandably, the community was left shocked by the distressing incident. But should residents feel any less safe about living in the town than they did before Monday?
As has been widely covered, dad and husband James Rudd was stabbed to death on Monday, August 28 on Victoria Street at around 1pm.
Paramedics and emergency services arrived at the scene, and despite their best efforts, were unable to save him.
Police officers armed with tasers also descended within a few minutes, arresting 46-year-old James Adam on suspicion of murder.
Adam appeared before Lincoln Magistrates’ Court and Lincoln Crown Court on Friday, September 1 charged with the crime.
Tributes have been pouring in since the fatal stabbing, with flowers being left at the scene by James’ heartbroken wife Kirsty.
Friends and family have also been expressing their sadness on social media throughout the week.
‘This is still a safe place’
Councillor Graham Cullen, who represents Mablethorpe on Lincolnshire County Council has urged the community to pull together following the shocking incident.
The Labour councillor told Lincolnshire Reporter: “This is still a safe place to stay and we’re a big community where people know each other and it’s very sad what has happened and it’s come as a great shock.
“We are working with the police and trying to find out what’s it’s all about, but we have to pull together as a community.”
When asked whether the incident could affect the tourism in Mablethorpe, he added: “I don’t think this will affect the tourism in the area.
“People come from all over the country and it’s very rare to have such an incident in Mablethorpe.”
This view was echoed by Deputy Mayor of Mablethorpe and Sutton, Stephen Palmer.
Councillor Palmer, who is a former Lincolnshire county councillor, said: “Yes it is a safe place to live. We want to offer reassurance that Mablethorpe is safer than a lot of areas and you cannot guard against something like that happening.
“It is a one off and a very tragic event. Mablethorpe doesn’t have a murder reputation and this could happen anywhere.
“It will not impact tourism. Are people put off going to London, Manchester or Barcelona? No, and they’ve had it much worse than here.”
An employee at St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice, based close to where the stabbing took place, added: “Many local people are upset by the incident and they feel it brings the area down.
“Here in Mablethorpe we have a lovely community but when things like this happen it unfortunately makes people feel disheartened about their efforts being made.”
A couple from Cambridgeshire who were on holiday in Mablethorpe, said: “We heard about the news before we came away, but we love it here, so we still came for the day.
“We feel very safe here and if we won the lottery we would buy a house here.”
An elderly resident, who was walking along Victoria Road and did not wish to be named was a little more cautious about living in the area after the incident.
“I have lived in this area for 30 years and there are drug problems in the area and I am quite scared,” she said.
“You see a lot of people on the streets asking for money and it’s not good.”
‘An isolated incident’
Conservative MP Victoria Atkins, who represents Mablethorpe in Parliament, said that thoughts should remain with the victim’s family.
She said: “It is tragic news to hear of the death of a man in Mablethorpe who was stabbed on Monday. Our thoughts should be with his family and friends at this very difficult time.
“Thankfully, incidents like this are very rare in our area. The police have confirmed that this was an isolated incident and that a man has now been arrested.
“I would urge anyone with any information about the incident to come forward and assist the police with their investigation.”
Councillor Graham Marsh, portfolio holder for partnerships at East Lindsey District Council, was also keen to reinforce the fact that this was an isolated incident.
He said: “Isolated incidents like this cannot be foreseen or predicted.
“The incident is obviously a concern for residents of Mablethorpe but it was an isolated incident. The advice remains that people be vigilant and report anything suspicious to the police.”