Commander Alex Murray, lead for violence in London said: “I am deeply saddened by every single homicide this year, and greatly concerned by those that have been teenage killings. Each one is a tragedy leaving behind heartbroken families and distressed communities.
“My thoughts are with the victims and all those impacted. They are not statistics, not just numbers, they all have families, and they all should have had their lives ahead of them. They and their families have been robbed of something precious and we should all be doing everything we can to stop this.
“These devastating losses continue to motivate every single officer at the Met to catch those responsible, bring justice to their families and take weapons off the street.
“We are devoting huge resources into preventing homicides and violence from happening in the first place.
“A great deal of work has already begun and plans are in motion for the new year ahead. We are using existing and innovative tactics, proactive operations, and all the powers available to us to ensure we are doing everything we can within the scope of policing to deal with violence in all its forms.
- Violence Suppression Units (VSU) in all 12 Basic Command Units across London working locally
- Pan-London resources such as the Violent Crime Taskforce (VCTF) and Territorial Support Group (TSG)
- Specialist Crime Detectives working to dismantle gangs, and remove drugs, knives and guns
- Murder Investigations Teams seeking justice for the victims and their families
- Ongoing partnership work including with the Violence Reduction Unit to better understand the causes of violence and find solutions
- Intervention and diversion initiatives through youth engagement and safer schools officers
- Programmes such as Divert that works within our custody suites to offer young people alternative options.
- Our work developing the award-winning “Hard Calls Save Lives” Campaign with Crimestoppers and mothers of young murder victims to encourage others provide information about anyone involved in knife crime or violence
“Our continued efforts are having a collective impact, with data showing reductions across serious violent crime categories. This year to November 2021, compared with the same period prior to the pandemic in 2019, has seen: knife crime decrease by 32 per cent and knife injury victims aged under 25 reduce by 29 per cent.
“Nevertheless, I know, this will be of little comfort to those who have lost a loved one and there is of course more to be done.
“Tackling violence remains our top priority and we are committed to making London safer but we know that reducing violent crime relies on joint efforts from across communities and agencies which is why we continue to work with our partners and the community to find lasting solutions.
“We encourage the public to call us on 101, or the independent charity Crimestoppers, with any information they may have about violent crime in their area – any information, no matter how small could build a picture that could save a life. Crimestoppers will never trace your call and will keep your identity 100 per cent anonymous.”