Surge in shootings in Brent could be caused by more guns on the streets

Police and paramedics at the scene of a shooting in Grove Way, Wembley (Pic: Twitter@LAS_JRU)

Police and paramedics at the scene of a shooting in Grove Way, Wembley (Pic: Twitter@LAS_JRU) - Credit: Archant

A police chief has indicated gun crime may be increasing judging by the numbers of weapons being seized by officers.

Deputy Commissioner Craig Mackey QPM

Deputy Commissioner Craig Mackey QPM - Credit: Archant

Deputy Commissioner Craig Mackey QPM was speaking to members of the London Assembly police and crime committee at City Hall yesterday about Operation Viper, the Met’s crackdown on a spike of recent shootings.

He said: “From 2011 and 2013 gun discharges in London were cut by half and we don’t ever want to go back to a situation where they are going up.

“We are conscious, what we’re seeing in London is mirrored around the country and the two facts that worried us.

“In 2015 we seized more fire arms than ever yet shootings still rose over all of that year. That says something about either availability or circulation.

“Are there more firearms out there or more availability? Sadly there’s no national register to go to, you have to use proxy evidence.

“We can say there are a number of things that point to more firearms seized in 15 than before yet more gun discharges which would indicate there is some new availability of weapons.”

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On March 9 Oliver Tetlow was shot dead after a gunman opened fire with a suspected ‘Uzi’ gun in Church Road, Harlesden.

Between April 22 and May 1 at least a further six people were shot in Brent.

On April 22 a man and a woman were shot in Hilltop Avenue, Stonebridge, and two days later two men in their 20s were shot in Kingsbury Road, Kingsbury.

On May 1 a partygoer was shot in Grove Way, Wembley, and a week later a police email leaked to the Times showed detectives suspect another man was also shot at the same event.

The victim made his own way to hospital but refused to tell medics were he sustained his injuries.

The dedicated Viper unit, named SCO19, has been rolled out in Brent and five other boroughs namely Hackney, Lambeth, Southwark, Newham and Tower Hamlets.

Armed officers from the Trident gang unit will patrol Brent alongside local borough officers and detectives from the organised crime unit.

Three men have been charged with the murder of Oliver Tetlow.