1. ITV Report

Scotland Yard chief says police have not lost control of streets

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Paul Davies

The head of Scotland Yard has told ITV News that the capital is still safe as the number of murders continues to grow.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick reassured the public that the force will be do their "level best" to reduce crime in London after a spate of violent attacks.

There will be a rise in police presence and stop and search, with hundreds of additional officers being deployed to the streets, she said.

Ms Dick has also called on local communities to help tackle the cycle of violence.

Speaking to ITV News, she warned those responsible for recent violence that the police "will get you".

Ms Dick said: "London is mainly a very safe city. For most people, most of the time, they will go about their business completely untroubled by knife crime.

"In the areas where we have seen the most knife crime, you will be seeing more police officers, you will be seeing more policing, and you will also be seeing more activity from local agencies".

There has been a rising wave of violent crime in London with the number of suspected murders in March higher than that of New York. Credit: PA

The commissioner's words come after six people have been killed in the capital over the past seven days.

A 30-year-old man was arrested in connection with the murder of Tanesha Melbourne-Blake who was gunned down in Tottenham on Monday.

The teenager was killed in a drive-by attack as she was talking with friends.

Police were called to Chalgrove Road on Monday evening following reports of gunshots. Paramedics spent an hour trying to save her life but she was pronounced dead at the scene.

More than 50 people have been killed in London since the start of the year, more than 30 of whom were fatally stabbed.

Tanesha Melbourne-Blake was shot from a car whilst she was with friends in Tottenham Credit: Family friend

The pressure on murder detectives is now so great that Scotland Yard has enlisted the support of City of London police to help cope with the caseload.

A spate of stabbings took place on Thursday, six youths were attacked within a 90-minute period, including a 13-year-old boy who was seriously wounded after being set upon in Newham, east London, shortly before 7pm.

Three youths were arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm with intent, Scotland Yard said.

Around an hour earlier, two 15-year-olds were seriously hurt after being stabbed in Grove Road, Mile End, east London.

A male was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and another youth, 16, who was treated for minor injuries, was arrested for conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm, Tower Hamlets police said.

The attacks have added to the UK's soaring rate of knife crime, with fatal stabbings in England and Wales at their highest levels since 2010/11.

The escalating violence has been especially acute in the capital, with one former senior police officer saying Scotland Yard appears to have lost control of London's streets.

Victor Olisa, the Met's former head of diversity and head of policing in Tottenham told the Guardian: "It appears to people I have spoken to as though the police have lost control of public spaces and the streets.

"The silence from senior officers in the Met is deafening."

The stabbings came as protesters rallied in Hackney to call for an end to gang violence, close to where 18-year-old Israel Ogunsola was stabbed to death on Wednesday evening.

A pair of 17-year-olds were arrested late on Wednesday evening on suspicion of murder.

Earlier on Thursday, at around 5.30pm, a 15-year-old boy was found stabbed in East India Dock Road, Poplar, east London.

Across the city, a youth in his late teens was stabbed in Ealing Broadway, west London, at around 7pm.

The attacks on Thursday evening came after a man believed to be in his 20s was stabbed in Billet Road, Walthamstow, at around 12.50pm.

Meanwhile, a man was arrested over the murder of a 53-year-old who died outside a bookmakers in Hackney on Wednesday afternoon.

He will be interviewed by detectives from City of London Police, Scotland Yard said.

The attacks have added to the UK's soaring rate of knife crime, with fatal stabbings in England and Wales at their highest levels since 2010/11. Credit: PA

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said the rising number of murders on the capital's streets was "heartbreaking" and criticised the government for cuts to the policing budget.

He said: "Of course it concerns me, I think one murder is one too many.

"Since 2014 we have seen an increase in violent crime in London and across the country.

"Already in the last seven years we have lost £700 million from the policing budget. Over the next three years the Government plans to cut another £300 million. That's a billion pounds worth of cuts.

"So my message to the Government is please work with us to solve this national problem."