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Police said they are “very frustrated” with potential witnesses being unwilling to help them with their investigation after a 16-year-old boy was left fighting for his life.

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The boy from Plaistow was stabbed in the leg and is still in hospital surrounded by his family while officers work to find out who is responsible for the attack.

The teenager was found with a leg wound on the grass verge of the roundabout junction of Limes Avenue and Westmede, Chigwell just before 9pm on Monday.

Det Insp Steve Ellis said: “We have been left very frustrated so far. This boy is fighting for his life and his parents understandably want to know why he was attacked and who was behind it.

“We want to be able to give them the answers. However, only a handful of people wanted to talk to us.”

Forensic officers returned to the scene on Tuesday in an attempt to get residents to help.

Police are looking for a car which was seen leaving the estate at the time of the stabbing as the passengers may have vital information for the investigation.

Detectives have arrested a man from Chigwell on suspicion of grievous bodily harm with intent.

Mr Ellis said: “Partnership policing is the key to solving this crime and taking a violent criminal off Chigwell’s streets so we will be trying again.”

Anyone with information about the incident should call Loughton Police on 101 or, if you wish to remain anonymous, Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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