London ‘on track’ for worst year of teen killings

Three teenagers were killed last week in London

Eleanor Sly
Thursday 17 June 2021 14:54
<p>Overall 17 teenagers have been killed in London this year</p>

Overall 17 teenagers have been killed in London this year

Scotland Yard chief, Alex Murray, has issued a warning that the capital looks set to see its worst ever year for teenage violence and homicides.

The Metropolitan Police’s lead for violence called for calm amid a worrying rise in teenage murders as coronavirus restrictions have begun to lift.

A total of 17 teenagers have been killed so far this year, with Commander Murray warning that numbers could be on track to reach levels similar to those seen in 2008, when 28 teenagers were killed in London.

He said: “If London continues to see this rate of violence, we will be on track to see the worst year for young homicides since 2008,” reported the Evening Standard.

According to the commander, the homicides have affected certain communities much more than others. Indeed, over two thirds of the teenagers who died (12) were black.

Overall, 15 of those who died were attacked with a knife while one was shot and another died in a house fire.

Last week, three teenagers were killed in seven days in London. These included Jalan Woods-Bell, 15, in Hayes, Denardo Samuels-Brooks, 17, in Streatham and Taylor Cox, 19, in Crouch Hill.

In spite of the recent spate of knife crime, Commander Murray said that serious violence offences in London had dropped by 22 per cent over the past year. The murder rate was also down, which could be due to the Covid lockdowns.

“Through lockdown there has been an incredible amount of work to take the wind out of the sails of people who drive violence,” he said.

He added that over 400 guns have been recovered as well as thousands of knives and a large amount of drugs.

The Met Police commander went on to explain that a recent lack of trust in the police has made it more challenging to “build relationships.”

He noted that this was particularly challenging as the public seem hesitant to give police statements, as happened when black equal rights campaigner Sasha Johnson, 27, was shot at a party in Peckham.

Commander Murray pointed out that the police are “only motivated by preventing violence.” He went on to say: “This is not snitching - this is about justice and about saving lives or preventing people ending up serving life in prison for murder.

“We simply cannot do this alone. Everyone has a role to play. Community leaders, businesses, politicians, youth workers, parents and teachers – quite literally anybody and everybody.”

Anyone with any information on knife crime is asked to call police on 101 or tell Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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