Met chief Cressida Dick: London's violent crime surge has begun to stabilise

Scotland Yard chief Cressida Dick today claimed the surge in violent crime in London has begun to “stabilise” after murder rates have fallen in recent months.

The Met Commissioner said there had been five homicides in the capital in June - compared to an average of 15 killings a month at the start of the year.

Speaking today she said : “Every death remains a tragedy for us all, and we have no intention of allowing the extraordinary levels of violence we saw earlier this year to become the new normality.”

But she said : “While earlier this year we saw increases in violent crime, I can report that in recent weeks we have seen the rates begin to stabilise. In the first five months of 2018 we saw on average around 15 homicides per month; for June and July the average was around six a month.”

In fact, the murder rate reached a high of 18 in London in both February and March this year - overtaking New York for the number of murders in those months for the first time in modern history.

London has also seen a surge in violent crime such as stabbings and shootings, while moped gangs have terrorised communities in parts of the capital.

Last week 18-year-old drill music rapper Latwaan Griffiths died from stab wounds having fallen off the back of a moped as a friend tried to rush him to hospital in Camberwell.

Detectives believe he was targeted by a rival gang after footage of him goading them was posted online. Three young men have been arrested, two of them yesterday.

The teenager, known as SA Latz, or Splash Addict, was the 52nd person to be fatally stabbed in London this year.

Four other people died in homicides this month, though none were gang related.

Scotland Yard launched the Violent Crime Taskforce in a bid to halt the crime epidemic in April with more than 150 officers targeting the most dangerous gang members and known crime “hotspots.”

At the time Ms Dick also pledged to increase stop and search tactics and use an Al Capone approach to tackle the worst offenders, targeting them for “any crime” to get them off the streets.

Today the Commissioner said the Violent Crime Taskforce - established with £15m funding from the Mayor - had played an “important role” in tackling the violence and said it would continue into next year at least.

She said : “We are continuing to work tirelessly and do everything we can to tackle, prevent and deter violence, bring perpetrators to justice and protect Londoners.”

Ms Dick added: “It is important to remember though that London remains a safe city, where the vast majority of people can go about their busy and daily lives, in relative safety, largely unaffected by violence and disorder.”

She said : “We have reorganised and reprioritised our resources to respond to where there is greatest operational need – this flexible use of our resources is something we have always done, and will always do, to protect the public.

"At this stage we are satisfied that our other significant ‘business as usual’ operations, investigations and engagement activity continue unaffected.”
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