Homicides, including gang killings, fall in 2010
Overall homicides have fallen to their lowest levels in over 30 years across London. There were 125 offences in 2010 down from 132 in 2009 and 146 in 2008. The current financial year to date has however seen a small increase of 7.8% from 90 in Apr-Dec 2009 to 97 in Apr-Dec 2010.
But gun murders were up 11 to 29, blamed partly on a rise in gang killings involving firearms and a worrying trend for more teenagers to use guns.
Senior police officers say the fall in murder figures reflects an overall down- ward trend over the last decade.
Homicide Chart London 1990-2010
But there is still concern over the number of teenage murders, which rose by five to 19 last year (the preceding years were 2009: 13; 2008: 28; 2007: 27; 2006: 15; 2005: 14).
The number of murders involving those associated with gangs and organised crime (either killer, victim or both) fell from 42 offences to 39 accounting for just under a third of homicides in both years. The boroughs with the highest number of “gang-related” homicides in the last year were Newham, Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham.
Since 2008 there have been 123 “gang-related” killings in London taking place across 25 of the 32 boroughs, excluding the City of London.
The boroughs with the highest number of gang killings during the last three years are Southwark (15), Lambeth and Newham (both 14), Hackney (9), Croydon (8) and Lewisham and Waltham Forest (both 6).
Boroughs that have not had any offences of this nature are predominantly in the south western outer areas of London such as Sutton, Kingston upon Thames, Richmond upon Thames and Hounslow.
"Gang-Killings" across boroughs (below)
The boroughs with the highest totals over the last three years are likely to remain the same when considering the current gang rivalries and alliances (below map – 2010 end). Since 2008 the highlighted areas have suffered from the most volatile gang rivalries.
Gang Rivalries and Alliances (below)
Numerically south London was the overall hotspot area for ‘gang-killings’ in London in 2010. In recent years numerous gun homicides have taken place across the main hotspot areas of Brixton, Peckham and New Cross / Deptford, a significant proportion of which remain unsolved by police. The number of gang homicides across this area increased from 2009 although was lower than in 2008.
Waltham Forest & Newham:
This area of London was the second hotspot for ‘gang-killings’ in 2010 affecting the areas of Plaistow and Custom House and across the border of the two boroughs whereby Leyton and Leytonstone meet with Stratford and Forest Gate. Further up in Walthamstow, the Priory Court estate has been the setting for several shootings linked to gang rivalries in 2010.
Although the number of ‘gang-killings’ in Hackney fell in 2010 the sheer number of active rivalries within the borough, and across borough boundaries, means there is always a risk of serious violence. The gangs responsible for the largest number of homicides in Hackney in recent years are the two main gangs London Fields Boys and Holly Street Boys.
Brent & Westminster:
There are growing problems affecting gang rivalries in this part of London that have already contributed to several stabbings in 2011 so far. The main cross borough rivalry involves the Mozart estate (Mozart Bloods) and South Kilburn estate (D-Block) which has seen a murder on each side (one in 2007 and one in 2010). Gang rivalries across the NW10 area are still active although the number of fatalities has reduced significantly since the beginning of the decade.
Haringey & Enfield:
Although a number of rivalries and alliances are present in this area of London the number of ‘gang killings’ has reduced consecutively since 2008 when a spate of murders connected to the rivalry between Edmonton and Tottenham gangs resulted in a spate of murders in the first half of the year. Owing to a number of members being imprisoned as a result of gang violence cross borough rivalry has become more limited. The main issues currently are of internal conflicts amongst gangs in Tottenham and Edmonton versus an Enfield gang.