CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Stayaway mayor Sadiq Khan told ‘come to Camden’ after third murder probe launched in a week

'We need action' say campaigners

13 September, 2019 — By Samantha Booth

Deputy Mayor Sophie Linden and Mayor Sadiq Khan

ANTI-violence campaigners are calling for the Mayor of London to come to Camden today in the wake of a third murder investigation being launched within just five days. 

Three young people, all in this 20s, have died this week in the borough, the latest last night (Thursday) on Camden High Street where another young man was also injured. 

Earlier this week, a woman was stabbed to death and another young man was shot in the chest. Seven murder investigations have been opened in Camden so far this year. 

Sadiq Khan, Labour Mayor of London, has agreed to visit Camden to show solidarity and explain what he is doing to stop more people being killed on the streets.

Renee Horsford, from Camden Against Violence, said: “Camden Against Violence believes that Camden, the families and victims deserve a visit from Sadiq Khan. To show solidarity and to make clear and implement the plans he had been talking about for so long. We need action now!”

The latest crime scene on Camden High Street

Camden mum Elaine Donnellon, from Operation Shutdown, said: “The people of Camden are calling for their Mayor to visit Camden immediately in the aftermath of yet more tragedy and death. People in Camden are asking what the government is doing to prevent the loss of life on our streets and across the UK.

“Operation Shutdown has been calling for COBRA meeting that will result in 10 year + plan that will use a public health approach. The primary responsibility of the government is to protect its citizens from foreign and domestic threats. 

“Due to cutbacks in policing, statutory services and community services there is nothing preventing loss of life and limb and there’s no protection for young people and adults on our streets in Camden, London and further afield.”

Operation Shutdown has been working with the Mayor’s office and Mr Khan is expected to visit Camden in early October in a private meeting with bereaved parents. 

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It is understood that Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime Sophie Linden may instead visit Camden today.

Mr Khan faced similar calls last year after two young men were stabbed to death in Kentish Town in one night. 

Several months later when interviewed by the New Journal on a campaign trail, he accused this newspaper of attempting to “make political capital out of a grieving family” even though reporters were simply passing on a message from those so gravely affected by knife crime.

A year ago this month he announced the launch of a Violence Reduction Unit across London. 

UPDATED

On Friday afternoon, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, after being asked by the New Journal,  said in a statement: “I am deeply saddened about the fatal stabbing of a man in his 20s in Camden last night. Violent crime has a devastating impact on Londoners and my thoughts are with the victim’s family and friends during this distressing time and I will visit Camden to meet with bereaved families and the community. 

“This is the third fatality in Camden in the past six days and enough is enough. I am in close contact with the Met Police Commissioner, Council Leader and MPs and regularly meet with families of victims of knife crime.

“I am doing everything I can – from being tough on crime by funding the Met’s Violent Crime Taskforce who are targeting violent offenders, to tackling the causes of crime through London’s Violence Reduction Unit and its public health approach, and the £45 million Young Londoners Fund – both focused on stopping violence before it occurs.

“But I’m doing all this with one arm tied behind my back, in the face of devastating government cuts. The Government must speed up its role in tackling violent crime – confirming how many more officers it will give London and reversing its deeply damaging cuts to youth and preventative services.”

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