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Extra armed patrols in London as violence flares over bank holiday weekend

Rhyhiem Ainsworth Barton, 17, was killed in Southwark, with two other boys shot in Harrow.

Extra police officers, supported by armed units, are patrolling the streets of London in a bid to combat the Bank Holiday violence.

It comes as three shootings took place in a 24-hour crime wave.

Rhyhiem Ainsworth Barton was fatally gunned down in Southwark, less than a day before two other teenage boys – one aged just 13 – were shot in the middle of the the day in one of the capital’s streets.

The 17-year-old rapper and aspiring architect had “so much potential”, his mother said as she tearfully told of her “handsome boy”.

Police have said extra patrols will be working on bank holiday Monday to keep the capital’s streets safe.

Violence has no place on our streets Detective Chief Superintendent Simon Messinger

Detective Chief Superintendent Simon Messinger, added: “The violence used has rightly caused concern and we are doing all we can to address this.

“Over the bank holiday weekend, additional officers are on the streets across the capital, working hard to keep London safe.

“They are using highly visible local patrols supported by armed response, traffic motorcycles, dog units, and air support – alongside plain clothes intelligence-led operations.

“Violence has no place on our streets.”

Rhyhiem Ainsworth Barton was shot dead in Southwark (Abigael Adeoye/PA)

Rhyhiem’s death is the latest in a spate of violent crimes in the capital, as police investigate more than 60 alleged murders so far this year.

Official statistics released in April showed the number of homicides in London had surged by 44% in the last year.

Mr Messinger said officers were using search powers to seize knives and to stop weapons being carried in cars.

Elsewhere, two men died in stabbings in Liverpool and Luton during the bank holiday weekend.

Fatah Warsame, 20, from Cardiff, died after being stabbed in Liverpool city centre early on Sunday morning, while another victim, also aged 20, was killed in Bishopscote Road in Luton that evening.

Rhyhiem’s mother, Pretana Morgan, called for a stop to devastating violence.

She said: “Let my son be the last and be an example to everyone. Just let it stop. What must be, must be.”

She said her son was not in a gang and he had been “trying to make a difference” by learning to work with children.

Pretana Morgan speaks to reporters after her 17-year-old son was shot in Southwark (PA)

Paramedics and police were called to reports of gunshots on Cooks Road in Kennington on Saturday at just after 6pm. Rhyhiem was found on nearby Warham Street with a gunshot injury.

In another episode of gun violence on Sunday, a 13-year-old boy suffered a shotgun pellet wound to the head within minutes of another teenager, aged 15, also being injured in a gun attack. Both boys suffered head injuries in the incident in Wealdstone in Harrow and remain in hospital.

They are not thought to be in a life-threatening condition, a Scotland Yard spokeswoman said, adding that they are investigating whether the incidents, at two locations in close proximity in High Street on Sunday, were linked.

An item of clothing lies on the pavement in Wealdstone, near where two boys, aged 13 and 15, were shot (Jonathan Brady/PA)

A 43-year-old was stabbed in Perivale, north-west London on Sunday night, after a dispute about driving.

Police said the man was attacked on Buckingham Avenue at around 9pm after a number of residents questioned a man in a blue car about the nature of his driving in the small residential street.

Meanwhile, three people were injured in a “noxious substance” assault following an altercation between two groups in east London at around 5.20am on Sunday.

Police are investigating whether the men, aged 22 and 27, and a 17-year-old boy, suffered life-changing injuries in the incident, at Shacklewell Lane in Hackney.

Just before 6.30pm on Sunday, police were flagged down by a member of the public in New Cross Road, south east London, where a 22-year-old man was suffering from gunshot wounds.

The injured man was taken by ambulance to a central London hospital where his condition is not life-threatening, Scotland Yard said.

Press Association


From Belfast Telegraph