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London attacks fuel concern over crime

VICTIMS: Both Amaan Shakoor left, and Ganesha Melbourne-Blake, right, have been killed

A SPATE of fatal attacks in London in the last month has fuelled concerns about growing levels of violent crime in the capital.

At the time of going to press the stabbing brought the number of deaths in London to more than 50.

Police officers found one victim, a man in his 20s, fatally wounded in Hackney shortly before 8pm on April 2. Despite receiving first aid, he died at the scene about half an hour later. One of two suspects sought remains at large.

Hours earlier in the same borough, a man in his 50s died in Clapton following a suspected fight outside a bookmakers.

On April 3, Amaan Shakoor, 16, became the youngest murder victim in London so far this year after he was fatally shot the previous day in Walthamstow. The Metropolitan Police have now launched a murder investigation.

Speaking about Shakoor’s death acting detective chief inspector Glenn Butler from the Trident and area crime command said: “I fully appreciate the alarm, shock and revulsion caused by this murder and other fatal shootings we have seen across London over the last few months.

“We are doing everything we can to identify the culprits and bring them to justice. We can’t do this alone. We need those within the community who have information about those involved to search their own conscience and call us with information.

“Detailed forensic testing including ballistic analysis and the recovery of local CCTV footage is in hand and my officers will be knocking on doors.”

TREATED

A 15-year-old boy who suffered stab wounds in the same incident was treated for his injuries at hospital and was released. Shakoor’s death followed that of 17-year-old Ganesha Melbourne-Blake on April 2. She was killed in a drive-by shooting in Tottenham, north London.

The teenager was with friends in Tottenham when a gunman opened fire from a moving car at about 9.30pm. One witness to the incident said: “The car just pulled up and started shooting.”

By the time police and paramedics arrived the victim was surrounded by dozens of people, including her mother, according to witnesses. One said: “She was screaming. She didn’t know what to do. She didn’t deserve that. Her mum didn’t deserve to watch her die.”

The killings have fuelled concerns about levels of vio- lent crime in the capital. Fatal stabbings in England and Wales are at their highest level since 2010-11, with the escalating violence especially acute in London, where 13 people were killed in knife crime incidents in two weeks last month. Campaigners and MPs said last week that authorities were failing to get a grip on the situation.

Tottenham MP David Lammy said the level of violence in the capital was “worse than I’ve ever seen it” and blamed recent cuts to public services for the situation. London mayor Sadiq Khan agreed tweeting: “Government cuts have decimated services for young Londoners.”

And the family of Abraham Badru, who was shot as he opened his car boot in Hackney, appealed for an end to “the gun culture [that] is becoming rampant in our community”.

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