Data shows local rate of violence is rising faster than London as a whole, reports James Cracknell
The rate of violent crime in Enfield has nearly doubled in less than a decade, police data shows.
Latest Metropolitan Police figures show that in the year up to November 2018, there were 8,935 violent crimes across the borough, compared with 4,671 for the year up to November 2011. This represents a 91% increase of violent crime in Enfield and is significantly higher than the 65% rise across London as a whole over the same period.
Edmonton continues to be the least safe part of the borough, with Edmonton Green ward recording 834 violent crimes in the last year – almost one-in-ten of all offences committed across Enfield.
The news comes after 20-year-old Richard Odunze-Dim was shot dead in St Joseph’s Road, Lower Edmonton, on Tuesday 18th December. One person arrested in connection with the death remains in custody, while another two people have been released on bail until later this month. It was the fifth killing in Enfield in 2018.
At an Enfield Council meeting in November, councillors passed a motion “expressing deep concern about the soaring level of serious and violent crime in Enfield”.
It followed a multiple shooting in Gordon Road and a multiple stabbing in Fraser Road occurring within 24 hours in Edmonton – two crimes detectives said were “linked”. The twin acts of violence – for which no-one has yet been charged – led the council leader Nesil Caliskan to write a letter to residents asking for their help in catching the perpetrators.
Councillors have blamed soaring crime rates on “historic levels of under resourcing to the Metropolitan Police” with a £700m cut in funding from government since 2010. Cllr Caliskan said: “In Enfield, we’ve lost nearly 240 police officers and community support officers from our streets. These huge Tory cuts have consequences.”
However, opposition Conservatives said at November’s meeting that “more money is not the answer – it is better management”. The council already funds an extra 16 police officers out of its own budget, specifically to patrol housing estates, while last summer it spent £100,000 on a range of extra-curricular activities designed to curb youth violence.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has launched a Violence Reduction Unit to focus on tackling violent crime, but also agreed in 2017 to the closure of 73 police front counters, including one in Enfield.
London Assembly Member Steve O’Connell, chairman of the Police and Crime Committee at City Hall, said: “Londoners are heartbroken to hear about the near daily carnage on our streets, the young lives lost and the misery for families and communities. The mayor’s new Violence Reduction Unit will need to demonstrate that it brings some thing different to the table. It cannot simply be a re-branding exercise of existing programmes and policies.
“We cannot emphasise enough how critical it is that the unit tackles the traumatic situations that children might live through in order to break the cycle of violence.”
As of the start of this month, Met Police teams in Enfield and Haringey have been merged to form a single ‘Basic Command Unit’ – one of twelve such units launching across London. Writing for the Dispatch in October, Inspector Chris Byrne said the merger “should make it easier for Enfield and Haringey police to support each other over borough lines at particularly busy times”. He also denied that the merger meant cutting police officer numbers, with a commitment to continue providing two dedicated neighbourhood officers and a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) for every ward in Enfield.
A Met Police spokesperson said: “Police in Enfield are committed to tackling crime in all its forms, and reducing the fear of crime. Through neighbourhood policing, regular patrols and fast-time responses to live incidents, and proactive operations by both borough officers and specialist units, we are working hard to bring crime levels down and arrest offenders, while supporting victims.
“We work closely with the local authority and other partners.”
Anyone with information about the death of Richard Odunze-Dim is asked to call 020 8345 1570 or 101, quoting reference CAD 7822/18Dec. Information can also be reported to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org