London's rising murder rate: who are the victims and what can be done?
Deaths of two teenagers brings number of killings in the capital to 48 this year
Murder numbers in London have risen to 48 for this year after the deaths of two teenagers this week.
Amaan Shakoor, 16, died in hospital after he was shot in the face in Walthamstow earlier this week. His death follows that of a 17-year-old girl, named locally as Tanesha Melbourne, who was killed in Tottenham. She died from a gunshot wound “allegedly following an altercation in Farringdon”, says Metro.
Of the 48 murders to have taken place this year, five were from shootings, while 31 were a result of knife crime.
The victim include Lewis Blackman, 19, a keen rapper known as Dotz who was stabbed to death in Kensington, and model Harry Uzoka, 25, who was was fatally stabbed in Shepherd's Bush. He was described as “a young icon for black boys in the UK and London” and was on the rise in the British modelling circuit.
Sabri Chibani, 19, was “attacked with a knife in a house near Streatham Common, south London, and staggered outside before dying in the street”, says Sky News. Chibani had recently moved to London from Italy and “saw a great future for himself” in the UK, according to one of his neighbours.
Other victims include Julian Joseph, 36, who died 11 days after being attacked on a bus in New Cross, south-east London, and Naomi Hersi, 36, “a lover of tennis, music, film and television”, says The Guardian. She was found stabbed to death in a hotel room in Hounslow.
There were 15 murders in February and a record 22 in March. The previous peak for the capital came last June, with 19 deaths.
Since January, London “has seen double the number of fatal shootings and stabbings compared with the same period last year”, says the Evening Standard.
Newspapers have contrasted the figures with New York, where there were 14 murders in February and 21 in March.
“Many readers will remember a time when America’s largest metropolis was a byword for violent crime, while the streets of Britain’s capital were relatively peaceable”, says The Times. “That situation has now been reversed.”
However, the BBC’s Reality Check says reports comparing the two cities need “some unpicking”.
While “a selective use of statistics from the start of 2018 appears to bear this out – the reality is that New York still appears to be more violent than London”.
Writing in The Sun, US police commissioner Bill Bratton, who helped the city’s former mayor Rudy Giuliani reduce crime levels in the 1990s, advocates the Metropolitan Police hiring more police officers and enacting a “zero tolerance” attitude towards petty crime.
In January, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said there would be a “significant increase” in targeted stop-and-searches by police to combat violent crime.
But shadow home secretary Diane Abbott warned against the initiative, telling the BBC it “poisoned relationships” between police and the community and highlighting statistics that show black people are at least eight times more likely than white people to be stopped and searched, even though they are less likely to be found with drugs.