Gun crime soars by 60 per cent in Newham

Karim Samms was shot dead in North Woolich last Friday

Karim Samms was shot dead in North Woolich last Friday - Credit: Archant

Reports of gun crime in the borough have soared by 60 per cent over the past year amid rising crime rates in the capital.

The number of firearm offences rose from 97 to 156 in 2016/17 from the previous year, though only 24 charges were made in both years.

But the numbers of killings halved from six to three, yesterday’s figures from the Met Police show.

Last week 17-year-old Karim Samms was gunned down near his home in North Woolwich and a second man was also shot nearby but survived.

Meanwhile reports of knife crimes jumped 15pc from 610 to 702. In contrast, the number of knife crimes resulting in injuries that ended in charges dropped by nearly 40 per cent.

Sexual offences also appeared to fall, from 825 to 733 (or 11pc).

However, the overall number of convicted rapes rose from 23 to 32, with more than ten times that number reported.

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Across London there was a 4.5pc rise in overall crime in London to a total of nearly 774,737 offences. Gun and knife crime offences rose 42pc and 24pc respectively.

Assistant commissioner Martin Hewitt, responsible for territorial policing, admitted the force was facing “new challenges across London”.

“Whilst we continue to focus on reducing stabbings by taking weapons and dangerous offenders off the streets, prevention and diversion from knife crime is key,” he said.

He added: “There are complex social reasons why more young people are carrying knives and this cannot be solved by the police alone, we must work with communities to help combat knife crime.”