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Tragic murder toll of young black men

ALMOST three-quarters of under 25-year-olds who were killed in London homicides last year were from the Afro-Caribbean community, says Scotland Yard.

Dep Comm Sir Stephen House described the murder toll of young black men and boys in the capital as ‘completely disproportionate’. There were 149 homicides in London in 2019, compared with 133 the previous year, despite a drop nationally.

Sir Stephen told the London Assembly’s Police and Crime Committee yesterday: ‘Of 149 homicide victims in 2019, 54 of them were under 25. Of those 54, 39 were from the Afro-Caribbean community, which is 72 per cent.’ He added this was ‘a completely disproportionate figure if you look at the population of London’. Around 12 per cent of people living in London are black, official figures show.

Sir Stephen revealed the statistics after he was questioned about figures showing 80 per cent of people on the force’s database of suspected gang members and those at risk of becoming involved are Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME).

Sir Stephen said: ‘The gang situation in London is a disproportionate issue in itself. From these figures it seems to me quite clear that the tragic murder of young, black, virtually all male, youths under 25 is also disproportionate.’

Met Commissioner Cressida Dick has said fighting violence is her ‘number one priority’. Sir Stephen said homicide is ‘the most extreme end of violence’ but ‘other measures of violent crime are coming down’.