75th London Murder Inquiry of 2018 Launched

TOPSHOT - A police security cordon remains around the Houses of Parliament on March 23, 2017 in London. Seven people have been arrested including in London and Birmingham over Wednesday's terror attack at the British parliament, the police said on today, revising down the number of victims to three people. …
JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty

The Metropolitan Police has launched its 75th murder inquiry for 2018 after a Lithuanian woman was killed in London.

Scotland Yard confirmed Wednesday that it had opened a murder investigation after 50-year-old Lithuanian-origin Gitana Matukeviciene succumbed to wounds she had sustained days earlier in an attack at her home in Dagenham, East London.

Emergency services were called to Ms. Matukeviciene’s property on Saturday at 1:37 pm where the victim was found unconscious and to have suffered a number of injuries. She was taken to Queens Hospital, Romford, but never regained consciousness and she died on Tuesday.

Police arrested Dmitrij Platov, 52, at the scene on Saturday and he was charged with attempted murder on Monday. Platov has been remanded in custody and is due to appear at the Old Bailey again on July 9th.

Officers have since launched a murder investigation; no formal charges of murder have yet been brought and no other individuals are being sought in connection with the case.

According to the i newspaper, the Met had opened 74 murder investigations prior to the killing of Ms. Matukeviciene – the 74th being the fatal stabbing of Albanian national Edmond Jonuzi, 35, outside of the busy Turnpike Lane underground station on Saturday.

Of this year’s victims to date, at least 48 were stabbed to death and another seven were gunned down, despite the UK’s strict laws on personal gun ownership.

The first shooting fatality of the year was that of taxi driver Bulent Kabala, 41. Mr. Kabala was shot dead on February 12th in what police described as a “targetted hit” after being ambushed by a gang of men outside a row of shops in Barnet, North London.

March 25th saw the fatal shooting of graduate and bravery award recipient Abraham Badru in Hackney, East London, in what his mother claimed was a revenge attack for his intervening to stop the rape of a young teen by a gang years earlier.

The following month saw 17-year-old Tanesha Melbourne-Blake being gunned down in a drive-by shooting in Tottenham, North London, with police believing she may simply have been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Under Labour’s Mayor Sadiq Khan, London has been in the grips of a crime wave with knife and gun crime surging by 30 and 16 per cent respectively. In April, the city overtook New York City for the number of murders for the first time in over 200 years.

Khan has gestured at tackling rising violent crime in the city by setting aside £1.4 million for anti-knife crime projects. However, this is less than the £1.7 million he allocated for the creation of an “online hate crime” hub and far less than the £6 million set aside for special toilets for bus drivers or the £34 million set aside for environmental projects.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick attempted to defend her force’s performance last week by selectively using statistics to overstate claims about London’s declining crime rate.

This week, the Met’s Assistant Commissioner Patricia Gallan told the left-wing Guardian newspaper that rising crime was a symptom of social inequality and that “society at large has got to think about how we solve some of the other issues about what has been causing the crime in the first place”.

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