Shopkeepers have been left surprised after a young woman was stabbed in the middle of a street – without them hearing a thing.

The 20-year-old arrived at hospital claiming she been stabbed in East Barnet Road, in New Barnet, at around 1pm.

Police immediately arrived at the scene and cordoned it off at the junction with Approach Road, before carrying out forensic investigations to determine what happened.

But shopkeepers working in the area at the time of the stabbing were unaware anything had happened until the early evening.

Surekha Patel, who works at Aldertons Newsagent, in Approach Road, said: “It’s very strange, and quite worrying that something as big as this could have happened without me seeing anything.

“I closed the shutters just after 1pm and was here until around 7pm – I was so shocked when I saw all the policemen here. It came as a surprise.”

People reported seeing two policemen guarding the area until late last night.

The woman was transferred to an east London hospital where she is in a serious but stable condition.

A passer-by who was in the area throughout the afternoon also said he had not witnessed anything.

He said: “It’s very unusual for us not to hear something like this happening. It was very quiet yesterday, I'd have expected it to be more dramatic.

“What a mystery. I didn't even hear screams, so hopefully the victim isn't too badly hurt.”

Pizza Hut delivery man Jamie Cove said police spent around seven hours at the scene.

He said: “It’s a really quiet street so if some kind of altercation or something big has happened, we’d know about it.

“The road was totally blocked and I had no idea why until they told me. I didn’t expect it to be a stabbing.

“It’s horrible, I hope she’s ok.”

No arrests have been made and police are still investigating.