'Violent scourge' on London streets as murder figures overtake NY

The Big Ben clocktower is surrounded in scaffolding in London

Police officers were called to Markhouse Road in Walthamstow on Monday at approximately 10pm after reports of gunshots.

Press Association Teenager Tanesha Melbourne was gunned down in Chalgrove Road Tottenham, north London, shortly before 9.30pm on Monday.

Tanesha was chatting with friends when a auto pulled up and someone inside began firing for "no reason at all", said a 21-year-old woman, who major part, with teenage boys admitting that postcode rivalries have left them fearful of venturing outside the estates where they live. "She was just an innocent child caught up in this stupid postcode war".

Thirty-seven people were found murdered in London in February and last month, compared to 35 in the Big Apple, for years known for its high homicide rates, figures from the London and NY police forces show. Murder rates in London had seen a steady decrease from 206 in 2003 to 94 in 2014 but the figure rose to 119 in 2015 and 116 past year.

Both cities have similar total populations around 8 and half million residents.

A spike in stabbing attacks has also contributed to London's increased murder rate, as 31 of the 47 murders in London this year have been carried out with knives.

The shift in data follows a year-over-year downward trend in New York's murder rate and a surge in gun crime that has plagued London since 2014.

The 15-year-old was treated for stab injuries which are no longer life-threatening, the Metropolitan Police said.

The 16-year-old boy was shot earlier in the evening in east London and a second victim, aged 15, was taken to hospital with stabwounds.

She noted an order allowing police to search members of the public without suspicion amid the risk of violence had been put in place in the area.

The latest incidents will bring fresh scrutiny on the government's efforts to halt rising levels of violent crime around the country.

The March figure marked a new high, the two previous peaks were in April 2010 when there were 16 murders, and June 2017 when there were 19.

Some have blamed the fact that officials in London have decreased the frequency at which officers perform stop-and-frisk searches for causing the increase in murders.

A Home Office spokeswoman said: "All forms of violent crime are totally unacceptable".

A Downing Street spokesman said: "These are all tragic cases and our thoughts are with the families of the victims".

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.

She said: "There's definitely something about the impact of social media in terms of people being able to go from slightly angry with each other to "fight" very quickly".

Tottenham-raised rapper Wretch32, whose real name is Jermaine Scott Sinclair, was among those to pay tribute, tweeting: "Wish I knew what to say about what's happening in my ends".

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