Police roll out initiative to tackle violence between Church End and Stonebridge gang rivals

Flowers and candles left at the scene where James Owusu-Agyekum was killed (Pic: Nathalie Raffray)

Flowers and candles left at the scene where James Owusu-Agyekum was killed (Pic: Nathalie Raffray) - Credit: Archant

Police have admitted a feud between rivals from the Church End and Stonebridge estates has spilled out on to the streets following the murder of a “gentle giant” in Harlesden.

James Owusu-Agyekum was shot dead last week

James Owusu-Agyekum was shot dead last week - Credit: Archant

James Owusu-Ajyekum was gunned down outside the home he shared with his parents in Tynsdale Road on the Church End Estate, on Tuesday of last week.

The 22-year-old, who worked for a shipping company in Wembley, was a respected member of the community and was not affiliated with any gangs.

Det Ch Insp Pete Wallis from Brent Police told the Times: “There has been an ongoing issue of gang related violence in the area of Church End Estate and Stonebridge Estate since April this year.

“Brent Police reacted to this escalation with Operation Ceasefire, which has involved the deployment of pan-London police units to the area such as the Met’s Territorial Support Group, Mounted Branch, Dog Support Unit and Interceptor Traffic Cars.

Oliver Tetlow was gunned down in March

Oliver Tetlow was gunned down in March - Credit: Archant

“The deployment of these assets has seen a reduction of 60 per cent in gun-enabled crime offences in the area in the past month.”

On Wednesday independent charity Crimestoppers put up a £10,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of his killer.

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Cllr Tom Miller, Brent Council’s cabinet member for stronger sommunities, told the Times: “The news of James’ murder is deeply upsetting and my sympathies are of course with his loved ones at this difficult time.

“The safety and wellbeing of our residents remains the Council’s top priority, and we will continue to work closely with the police to ensure that those responsible in this case are brought to justice.”

The shooting took place just yards away from where Oliver Tetlow was shot on March 9 this year.

The 27-year-old died after a gunman opened fire in Church Road. Detectives believe he was not the intended victim and was an innocent by-stander.

On September 9 this year a car parking in Hawkins Road, which is also on the Church End Estate, was fired at several times. No one was injured.

Cllr Zaffar Van Kawala, who represents the Stonebridge ward, said: “We are seeing the tragic loss of young lives across the borough which is having a devastating impact on our community.

“We all need to work together to make our streets safer.”

Anyone with information can call 020 8785 8244 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.