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London homicide toll reaches 100 at earliest point of year since 2008
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09/14/2018 09:33 AM
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Domestic abuse has led to almost as many homicides this year as gang-related violence, police figures show.
The Metropolitan police said the homicide rate in London had slowed after a spate of killings earlier in the year. At one point the rate was up 158% on last year but it is now only slightly ahead.
There have been 100 homicides in the capital this year, and that milestone was reached at the earliest point of the year since 2008. At this point last year there had been one fewer.
Of the 100 homicides this year, 22 were gang-related and 21 were linked to domestic abuse, the highest figure for two years. Much of the political focus has been on gang-related violence, linked in part to the drugs trade, but domestic abuse has claimed 15 females lives and six male.
The Met recorded 116 homicides in London in the whole of 2017, excluding the deaths in the Westminster, London Bridge and Finsbury Park terrorist attacks. In the first quarter of 2018 there were 46 homicides in the capital, a rate of more than three a week. If that rate had continued, the annual toll this year would have surpassed 180, the worst since 2005 when there were 181.
The Met’s assistant commissioner Marin Hewitt said: “The thing I am confident of is we are suppressing the level of violence more generally, and that’s what leads to the murders.”
In April it was suggested that London was heading for a higher murder rate than New York, but by the start of this month there had been 197 homicides in the US city this year. Hewitt said: “I think those comparisons were unfortunate at the time, there is quite a considerable difference.”
The Met said 55 of the 100 homicides took place in public spaces such as streets or shopping centres and 45 took place in houses or flats, which Hewitt said were harder to prevent.
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