"This has been happening for a good couple of decades, we've got a problem with violent crime," criminology expert Dr. Anthony Gunter told Sputnik."A weapon used on the streets of poor neighbourhoods is the same as a middle class man using a fist or a kitchen knife at home," Dr. Gunter said.
The issue of gang violence on London's streets is creeping up the political agenda as Scotland Yard launches its 50th murder inquiry so far this year. The latest teenager stabbed in north-east London has been named as Israel Ogunsola. The 18 year old died half an hour after being knifed to death, despite the efforts of police officers, paramedics and a trauma doctor.
VIDEO: Scene in #Hackney around Morning Lane remains on lockdown with high Police presence in the area following a fatal stabbing, the second fatal incident in #Hackney today. pic.twitter.com/SPdUkzpgZv— London 999 Feed (@999London) April 4, 2018
"It's all the same, we need to connect the dots, it's an epidemic nationally for all of us, it's not just these kids with knives who are a problem. It's about masculinity, it's about anger, pain, frustration", Dr. Gunter told Sputnik.
London's Mayor Sadiq Khan has been accused of not doing enough in the wake of the recent killings. A spokesperson for Mr. Khan said in a statement: "The Mayor is shocked and angered by the violent deaths on the streets of London this year."
I‘m angered and heartbroken by the recent violent deaths on our streets. @metpoliceuk patrols have already been increased and extra stop-and-search powers are in place. If you have any information about these horrific crimes – please contact the police. pic.twitter.com/SXgGqL7zIV— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) April 5, 2018
Meanwhile Labour MP David Lammy has accused London's Metropolitan Police of losing its grip on the criminal gangs dealing cocaine in the city. In and interview with the Today program, the MP for Tottenham said getting hold of drugs on London's streets is "as prolific as ordering a pizza."
Mr Lammy, who has represented the inner city area of Tottenham for 18 years told reporters the violence on the capital's streets was the worse he had ever seen.
Why is a life in my constituency worth less than elsewhere? Why after 4 young people have lost their lives in Haringey since Christmas have I not even had a phone call or a meeting with the PM or Home Secretary? Where is the leadership? Lost lives are not a political football.— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) April 5, 2018
He said London was becoming "the drugs market of Europe", police had lost control of the situation and political leaders were doing nothing about it despite the Met launching its 50th murder investigation this year.
"Drugs are prolific…you can get them on Snapchat, WhatsApp. That in the end is driving the turf war and its driving the culture of violence," he told Britain's Today program, suggesting Eastern European and Albanian gangs "traffic people, they traffic drugs and they traffic guns."
.@DavidLammy says there is a ‘McMafia out there’ with Europe’s biggest drug war on the streets of London. And with unemployment among black men at 30%, ‘in that context of inequality and a local authorities which have cut youth services’ gun and knife crime thrives. #r4today— Paul Brand (@PaulBrandITV) April 5, 2018
"All Politicians Are Culpable"
However Dr. Gunter, a criminology lecturer at the University of East London and former youth worker told Sputnik, "all the politicians are culpable."
"They all give sound bites but they've all sat on their hands; David Lammy is more concerned with Brexit than what's been happening under his own nose", Dr. Gunter told Sputnik.
"The reality is that the politicians haven't got a clue about what's going on and that's why we're not getting on top of it."I'm not going to buy into it, what's the link between an Albanian gang and a young boy killed in Walthamstow" Dr. Gunter asks.
Chief Superintendent Sue Williams said the Met was "working hard to prevent further violence and keep people safe."
"We have extra officers on the streets, both highly visible and in plain clothes carrying out a range of intelligence-led operations and patrols."
A teenager who was caught in possession of a shotgun in #Croydon after he was seen on social media posing with two suspected firearms has been jailed https://t.co/L3vm8PgWPb pic.twitter.com/prNP17Dj72— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) April 4, 2018
The views of the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.