Friday, 26 March 2010
Another day, another murder..
Two news items from London yesterday.
At West Ham Football Club in east London, police held a conference for 150 teenagers. They were urged to trust the police and come forward with information about serious crimes they may have witnesses. They heard an emotional speech by the mother of Adam Regis,15 (pictured) who was stabbed to death in Plaistow, east London three years ago.His killers have never been found.
Teenagers at the conference also took part in a drama workshop and had the opportunity to learn about stop and search strategies and community police patrols.
Detective Chief Inspector Steve Clayman said: “The conference is about encouraging young people to think about what their barriers are when engaging with the police and why they will not, in their words, snitch'. We solve 85 per cent of our murders but in a few cases, this makes identifying the people responsible much harder.”
Police highlighted four unsolved murders where witnesses are desperately needed:
- Adam Regis, 15, was targeted by a group of youths in an unprovoked attack in March 2007. Detectives believe they are close to identifying his killers but need crucial information from witnesses.
- Rapper Isschan Nicholls, 18, was stabbed during a suspected gang brawl in Bow in January. Police estimate between 15 and 25 people were involved.
“We have spoken to people who were there but no one saw anything,” said one detective. “It's very frustrating.”
- Teenager Billy Cox was shot in his home in North Clapham on Valentine's Day in 2007. The 15-year-old is thought to have known the gunman. Despite a £20,000 reward the case is unsolved.
- Student Nicholas Clarke, 19, was shot on the Myatts Field estate in Lambeth in March 2008. Eight men were seen on the estate at the time but no one has come forward, again despite a £20,000 reward.
Meanwhile in central London at Victoria station, one of London's busiest at the height of the rush hour a boy was stabbed to death in a brawl with other boys.
According to the Evening Standard 35 youths may have been involved. They quote Kit Malthouse, the chairman of the Metropolitan Police Authority, as saying: “Despite the huge reduction in teenage killings in the last two years, this horrible incident shows that we have still not won the battle against knife crime.”