Met chief: Police have not lost control of London's streets

Police have not lost control of the streets of London, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner said as she admitted a spate of violence in the capital was "very worrying".

Cressida Dick said she anticipated further arrests and charges in the five murder investigations launched in recent days.

Her comments came after a 30-year-old man was arrested in Hackney over the murder of Tanesha Melbourne-Blake, 17, who was gunned down in Tottenham on Monday.

The teenager was killed in a drive-by attack as she sat chatting with friends in a killing that shocked the capital.

The rising wave of violent crime meant the number of suspected murders in March was higher than that of New York.

It emerged on Thursday that the Met has opened 55 murder investigations in London this year and there were six non-fatal stabbings from Thursday night into Friday morning in the capital.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick (centre) walks with officers through Stoke Newington in north London, after a recent spate of gang violence in which several teenagers died (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick, centre, walks with officers through Stoke Newington in north London, after a recent spate of gang violence in which several teenagers died (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Ms Dick told the BBC her officers had "not lost control", in response to comments by Victor Olisa, the Met's former head of diversity and head of policing in Tottenham.

Speaking after a walk through Stoke Newington, in north London, Ms Dick added: "Over the last three months and in particular in the last several days we have had a unusual spike in horrible homicides, ghastly events, that have taken people's lives and devastated other people's lives.

"This is not an unprecedented time, but it is a very worrying time."

She defended the Met's record of bringing criminals to justice and said she believed the perpetrators of the recent killings would face the courts.

A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder following the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Tanesha Melbourne-Blake on 2 April #Tottenham#Haringeyhttps://t.co/k6IwKRXNjPpic.twitter.com/4rG3tKo0wc

-- Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) April 6, 2018

"It is important that we investigate those to the best of our ability and that we bring people to justice," Ms Dick said.

"I anticipate that we will. We are very good at that.

"In the five cases in the last week that will be on your mind, we have arrested in all but one.

"I anticipate that we will have further arrests, and indeed charges."

Just 30 minutes after Tanesha was killed, 16-year-old Amaan Shakoor was shot in Walthamstow and died in hospital the following day.

Officers said they are keeping an open mind about the attack, and at this stage there has been no suggestion that the two killings are linked.

Floral tributes left on Chalgrove Road, Tottenham (Jonathan Brady/PA)
Floral tributes left on Chalgrove Road, Tottenham (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Detective Inspector Beverley Kofi, of the Homicide and Major Crime Command, appealed for information.

He said: "We are appealing to anybody who witnessed the incident and has not yet come forward, or who in the hours since this shocking murder are privy to information that could help us find those responsible.

"You may be fearful of repercussions of speaking to police, or have loyalties that you believe can't be compromised.

"We are dealing with the fatal shooting of a teenage girl, and would implore you to do the right thing and come forward."

On Friday afternoon a section 60 order, granting police stop and search powers across the Borough of Newham, was announced in response to an incident where a 13-year-old boy was stabbed in Gainsborough Avenue on Thursday.

The order will remain in place until 6am on Saturday.

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