Gun-free London? Teen Shot Dead, Raid Uncovers Multiple AK-47s, Grenades

London
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JACK MONTGOMERY

A teenage boy has been shot dead in London, just minutes after a man in his thirties was stabbed in the head elsewhere in the increasingly crime-stricken British capital.

The victim, reportedly in his late teens, was attended to by the London Ambulance Service and Metropolitan Police officers at Friar Mews, West Norwood, around 4:10 p.m., but he was pronounced dead after a little over 40 minutes.

“Officers are in the process of informing his next of kin,” confirmed the police, who have two males in custody in connection with the slaying.

“Formal identification awaits; a post-mortem examination will be scheduled in due course. A crime scene remains in place.

“The Homicide and Major Crime Command have been informed and will be leading on this investigation.

“A number of enquiries including review of local CCTV footage and forensic analysis at the scene are in hand.

“Detectives are urging witnesses to speak to police at the scene, call officers, or Crimestoppers anonymously.”

The shooting took place just minutes after a man in his thirties was stabbed in the head in a separate incident on London Road, Sutton, although in this case the victim’s injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

Gun crime is a growing problem in the United Kingdom, despite sweeping gun control measures effectively banning private firearms ownership for self-defence purposes anywhere but Northern Ireland, where forces veterans, former members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary, and other sensitive individuals can sometimes acquire a Personal Protection Weapon licence — although there is increasing pressure to rescind even these.

Just a day before the West Norwood shooting Metropolitan Police announced they had uncovered a formidable arsenal of firearms and explosives including “three AK-47 assault rifles, one sub-machine gun, two shotguns, one revolver, one self-loading pistol, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, and 22 grenades” while raiding an industrial estate near Bretts Farm, Romford Road.

Officers also uncovered “A large number of stolen vehicles, several kilos of Class A drugs, and a cannabis farm”, arresting one 31-year-old male “on suspicion of possession of firearms, ammunition and explosives with intent to endanger life”.

A number of explanations for the violent crime wave gripping Britain in general and the British capital in particular have been posited, with some pointing to significant cuts to police funding by the central government, and others accusing law enforcement of misallocating resources to non-violent crime related to offensive speech online, and even so-called “non-crime hate incidents”.

Reductions in the use of police stop-and-search powers, frequently denounced as “racist”, is also held to have blunted officers’ operational effectiveness, although Mayor of London Sadiq Khan appears to have u-turned on the subject since he vowed to” do all in my power to further cut its use” in 2015.

Violent criminals themselves have suggested weak sentences and mass immigration have also played a role in the breakdown of law and order in the city.

One gang member who told the BBC he “wouldn’t be able to” count the number of people he had stabbed recently revealed that “Giving tougher sentences will prevent people from carrying knives because nobody wants to go to jail for 10 or 15 years just for carrying a knife.”

Another told the Evening Standard how “In the last 10 years, since the Somalis and the Congolese came to London, they taught us a whole new level of violence.”

“These people had seen family members mutilated so when they said, ‘I’m gonna smash you up,’ us guys would be shouting, ‘Yo blud, wot you mean?’ and they would just pull out a blade and juk [stab] you in the chest. It upped the speed and level of violence for us British-born guys. We had to arm up to protect ourselves. It created an upward spiral,” he explained.

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