London – VIJAY SHAH via JON KING and Newham Recorder
The east London borough of Newham had the highest number of homicides in the last year, with thirteen taking place there, more than in any other borough in the city, according to figures seen and reported in local newspaper, the Newham Recorder, it is said.
The borough tops the league for the murder rate according to figures released by the Metropolitan Police, the police force which deals with crime in the Greater London area, which is made up of thirty-two boroughs.
Between the period from April 2017 to March 2018, thirteen killings in the borough were investigated by the police, many involving young people in their teen and twenties. Recent tragedies included that of 18-year-old Sami Sidhom in Chestnut Avenue, Forest Gate, Beniamin Pieknyi, 21, in the Stratford Centre and Promise Nkenda, 17, in Canning Town. Sidhom was stabbed to death by a group of youths while returning from a football match at the new West Ham Stadium in Stratford, north Newham.
Newham’s murder crime rate is triple the rate of neighbouring boroughs, with Redbridge reporting five homicides, Barking and Dagenham reporting four, with Tower Hamlets being the highest at six murders, according to the figures.
On the numbers the Met’s assistant commissioner Martin Hewitt said: “We continue to experience a very busy and challenging time against the backdrop of significant cuts (to police funding).”
“I am very concerned about crime rises, particularly of murder, violent and knife crime.”
Despite a slash in police officer numbers and funding brought about by central government austerity measures, the Met Police has said it is doubling up on tackling knife crime with increased ‘stop-and-searches’ and extra officers on the beat in affected communities.
“There are complex reasons why more young people carry knives. Knife crime cannot be solved only by the police. We need the help of agencies and communities who we know are behind us,” the assistant commissioner said.
The police figures also reported increases in violent crime, robberies, sexual assaults/attacks and burglaries, with 2,082 incidents reported between April 2017-March 2018, according to the Recorder paper.
“Despite the challenges ahead, we continue to focus on bringing offenders to justice, making streets hostile territory for criminals, supporting victims and working with communities,” Hewitt said.
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“More Newham murders than in any other London borough, Met figures show” – Jon King, Newham Recorder/Archant (27 April 2018) http://www.newhamrecorder.co.uk/news/crime-court/murders-newham-london-borough-met-police-figures-1-5495065
“Police Crime Scene Blue Light · Free image on Pixabay” – geralt, Pixabay (29 July 2015) https://pixabay.com/en/police-crime-scene-blue-light-862341/