Teenage girl killed in 'postcode war' drive-by shooting as she sat with friends

A 17-year-old girl was shot dead "for no reason at all" in a fatal drive-by attack during a night of violence in London.

The teenager, named locally as Tanesha, was with friends in Chalgrove Road, Tottenham, north London, when she was murdered shortly before 9.30pm on Monday.

Neighbours suggested her death was a tragic result of a postcode war between rival gangs.

A woman who knew the murdered girl said the victim was "just chilling with her friends" when she was shot from a car for "no reason at all".

"The car just pulled up and just started shooting," said the 21-year-old, who did not want to be named. She said she heard the gunshots "like fireworks" from her house.

"I put her on her side and I was just rubbing her back, saying 'everything's going to be OK'. I just can't believe it - so young. It's ridiculous now."

Police activity at Chalgrove Road (Henry Vaughan/PA)
Police activity at Chalgrove Road (Henry Vaughan/PA)

She told how the girl's mother arrived before paramedics, adding: "She was screaming. She didn't know what to do. She didn't deserve that. Her mum didn't deserve to watch her die."

The witness described the victim as a "good girl", adding: "She was so lovely."

Tottenham-raised rapper Wretch32, whose real name is Jermaine Scott Sinclair, was among those to pay tribute, tweeting: "Wish I knew what to say about what's happening in my ends. North London we're better then this man smh R.I.P to the young angel who lost her life last night. love & prayers to the family. I'm honestly lost for words."

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A friend of the murdered girl told the Press Association: "Tanesha was a very known, very lovable little girl in the community, she was not involved in any sort of problems with anyone.

"I can't believe she's gone. She was just an innocent child caught up in this stupid postcode war."

One neighbour, who did not want to be named, told how he rushed to help the victim when her friends raised the alarm. "This is not the first time. This is a war," he added.

Forensic officers search Chalgrove Road (Jonathan Brady/PA)
Forensic officers search Chalgrove Road (Jonathan Brady/PA)

In a separate flurry of violence on Monday night, a 16-year-old boy was left in a critical condition after he was shot in Walthamstow. Another boy, aged 15, was taken to hospital with stab injuries.

Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy said on her Facebook page that that the 16-year-old injured in Walthamstow had been shot in the face.

Walthamstow I have a further update for you on basis of last nights events - this is direct from the police. This is a...

Posted by Stella Creasy on Tuesday, April 3, 2018

A section 60 order, which allows police to search members of the public without suspicion amid the risk of serious violence, has been put in place.

In a third incident, a 16-year-old boy was stabbed near St Leonard's Street in Bow, east London, at around 6pm on Sunday. He was given first aid and is in a stable condition in hospital.

Four boys - two aged 16 and two aged 15 - have been charged with GBH and appeared at Stratford Youth Court on Tuesday.

So far this year, the Metropolitan Police have launched 47 murder inquiries - eight in January, 15 in February, 22 in March and two in April.

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

In the whole of last year, there were 130 murders in London. The number of killings reached a peak around June before dropping again in the second half of the year.

So far this year, 31 people have been stabbed to death in the capital. The latest was a 20-year-old man who was attacked moments after leaving a bar in Wandsworth and died in the street.

On Thursday, the family of Abraham Badru, 26, who was shot dead in Hackney, east London, on March 25 warned that "gun culture is becoming rampant in our community".

There have been five fatal shootings in London so far in 2018.

Separate investigations have been launched after two teenagers were shot in north and east London. A 17-year-old girl has died in Tottenham and a 16-year old boy is currently in a critical condition after a shooting in Walthamstow. https://t.co/Rf2CN8Rma2pic.twitter.com/N15CwIi62Q

-- Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) April 3, 2018

The latest incidents will bring fresh scrutiny on the Government's efforts to halt rising levels of violent crime around the country.

Figures published in January showed police recorded 37,443 offences involving a knife or sharp instrument in the year ending September 2017 - a 21% increase compared with the previous year and the highest tally since comparable records started in the 12 months to March 2011.

Gun-related crime also went up by a fifth year on year, to 6,694 recorded offences.

Ministers point to findings from the separate crime survey which show overall offending is going down over the long term.

But they have acknowledged that some of the increase in police-recorded violent crime is "genuine".

Forensic officers at the scene where a 16-year-old boy was shot on Monday evening in Markhouse Road, Walthamstow (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
Forensic officers at the scene where a 16-year-old boy was shot on Monday evening in Markhouse Road, Walthamstow (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

In the coming weeks, the Home Office will publish a serious violence strategy, which it says will place a "new emphasis" on steering young people away from crime.

Proposed measures include a "two strikes" regime, meaning criminals caught with corrosive substances twice will automatically face a prison sentence of at least six months, and a tightening of rules covering online sales of knives.

The recent spate of violence has prompted scrutiny of a sharp reduction in stop-and-search activity, with use of the powers at the lowest level since current data records started 17 years ago.

Stop and search has repeatedly attracted controversy, with criticism focusing mainly on the number of stops of black and minority ethnic individuals.

Reforms were introduced in 2014 by then-home secretary Theresa May to ensure the tactic was used in a more targeted way.

A Home Office spokeswoman said: "All forms of violent crime are totally unacceptable. This Government is taking action to restrict access to offensive weapons as well as working to break the deadly cycle of violence and protect our children, families and communities.

"The UK has some of the toughest gun laws in the world and we are determined to keep it that way."

A Downing Street spokesman said: "These are all tragic cases and our thoughts are with the families of the victims."

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