A heartbroken Bellingham community is in mourning after a teenager was "stabbed to death with a machete" outside a chicken shop.

The victim has been named as Jay Hughes and the 15-year-old was murdered in Randlesdown Road yesterday (November 1) evening.

He was taken to hospital after police were called at 5.22pm but he was pronounced dead at 8.15pm.

READ MORE - Bellingham murder: Boy stabbed in 'row outside Morley's chicken shop'

Yelsan Arsan, 45, is the chef at Cosy Cafeteria and has lived in Bellingham for 25 years.

"It wasn’t always like this,” he told News Shopper. “People used to fist fight. Now they pick up a knife, it is so dangerous.

News Shopper:

"I’m so upset. I have a nine-year-old boy. He goes to Athelney Primary School around the corner and from today he is definitely not walking there on his own.

"I’m not happy about that. He will grow up without confidence. He will be looking around at everyone suspiciously and it’s not right."

Yelsan, who has three children, said he was shocked at the murder but spoke about a surge of violence in Bellingham, particularly where he works in Randlesdown Road.

"There are little gangs growing and growing here and nobody can stop it," he said.

"Jay was just f***ing 15. Nobody deserves to die like that."

These words were echoed by a mum and business owner at nearby Bromley Road who wished not to be named.

She told News Shopper more officers were needed in Bellingham because of regular youth violence.

"It is very dangerous here,” she said. “I have had to disrupt a lot of fights.

"I am heartbroken. As a mum I don’t like this. I really don’t. It has always been dangerous and there are gangs.

"I have a young daughter that age and mums around here are fearing for our children."

A service is being held at St Dunstan’s Church in Bellingham on Sunday (November 4) where people can light candles and pray.

Father Timon Singh described being "heartbroken" and said he hopes the community can come together.

He commented: "There are better ways to equip our youths. We want to try and somehow seek a way forward."

The chairman of St Andrew's Boxing Club in Catford said he was "devastated" by the news.

Barry Sandford, 51, told News Shopper: "I believe every kid has a talent. They don’t need this in their life they really don’t.

News Shopper:

"That is someone’s son, grandson or brother. It is totally wrong."

He urged youngsters to visit his gym in Sandhurst Road so they can escape a life of crime.

"If they don’t have money, don’t worry they are more than welcome. Just please come along.

"I can’t promise to stop crime but believe me, we have got kids off the streets and they have turned it all around.

"My message is to ditch the knife and to come and train."

Lewisham Council cabinet member for safer communities, Joani Reid, said: “It is appalling for Bellingham and everyone will be affected.”

Anyone with information that may assist the murder investigation is asked to call police on 101 quoting CAD 5890 / 1 Nov.