CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

We are good at catching killers, insists Met

Detectives say they have an 'unwavering resolve' to crack cases

10 September, 2020 — By Bronwen Weatherby

A forensic tent in Camden High Street last year following the knife murder of Assad Yarow

DETECTIVES say they have an “unwavering resolve” to crack Camden’s outstanding murder cases.

Asked by the New Journal this week about whether there were concerns about what message might be taken from four unresolved street killings last year, a Met statement said police had a good record of bringing people to court.

“We are not complacent and one homicide, one stabbing, one violent incident is one too many,” it said.

“Each one of these attacks is a tragedy, not just for the victims and their families and friends,  but also our wider communities. But those communities can be assured,  the Met is unwavering in its resolve to keep London safe and bring those responsible to justice.”

Scotland Yard then provided statistics which it said showed its record.

“Every murder is investigated by a homicide team from the Met’s Specialist Crime,” the statement said.

“The number of these crimes that are detected shows the Met’s  determination to bring those responsible to justice.  So far in 2020, 95 per cent of murders have been detected. The figure of murders detected  for the rolling year to September 7 2020 is 89 per cent.”

This time last year, Camden was at the centre of questions about the scale of police resources available for investigations when there were three killings within a matter of days.

On the same evening that Wilson Varela was shot dead in Kentish Town, 22-year-old Sahkira Loseke was stabbed to death in nearby Belmont Street in an unrelated incident. That case was resolved when a woman was jailed for manslaughter, but there has been no conviction in four out of the eight fatal incidents in Camden in 2019.

Met Commissioner Cressida Dick being interviewed by the New Journal in October

When Met Commissioner Cressida Dick visited Camden Town with London Mayor Sadiq Khan late last year, she conceded that detectives had been stretched, but this was not the reason why cases remained unsolved.

“We are fantastically good at this work,” she said. “We don’t give up. We do our level best to bring people to justice.”

Detectives consider that appeals such as the one released this week asking for help in finding Mr Varela’s killer give a clear indication that the case remains open with a thorough ongoing inquiry.

The Met statement added: “Suppressing violent crime remains the top priority for everyone. The Met has dedicated officers to tackle violence and since the introduction of the Violent Crime Taskforce in 2018 that operates across London, the Met has introduced Violence Suppression Units to work locally in boroughs alongside communities and partners.

“These teams have already led to hundreds of weapons and violent offenders taken off the streets.”

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