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Violence in London worst I’ve ever seen it, says David Lammy

The Tottenham MP raised concerns about drugs driving turf wars between gangs, and called for political consensus.

David Lammy has described violence on the streets of London as the “worst I’ve ever seen it” following of a spate of murders in the capital.

The Labour former minister, who has been MP for Tottenham for 18 years, said there was “absolutely no sign” of any reduction in the violence as he raised concerns about drugs driving turf wars between gangs.

Mr Lammy told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that drugs were as “prolific as ordering a pizza”, and warned that the police have “lost control of that drugs market”.

He said: “I’ve been an MP now for 18 years and I’m afraid what we’re seeing today is the worst I’ve ever seen it.

“I’ve had four deaths in the London Borough of Haringey since January, I’ve had as many knife attacks as there have been weeks in the year.

“There are parents, friends, families, schools, traumatised and grieving, and there is absolutely no sign, I’ve got to tell you at the moment, of reduction in the violence.”

He said an “£11 billion cocaine drugs market” drives gangs in turf wars, adding: “We are the drugs market of Europe and I think the police and our country has lost control of that drugs market.

“You have young children – as young as 12, 13 – being recruited into gangs to run drugs across county lines.”

He said he was “hearing nothing” about what is being done about the rise in the drugs market.

“Drugs are prolific – it’s like Deliveroo, they’re as prolific as ordering a pizza.

“You can get them on Snapchat, WhatsApp – that, in the end, is driving the turf war and it’s driving the culture of violence – that is obviously ramped up by social media – but the culture of violence that I think is now becoming endemic in parts of London.”

He said that, despite four deaths in the borough, he had not had a phone call from Home Secretary Amber Rudd or London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

“No-one has come to visit my constituency. This is happening across London at large.

“Frankly, I’m sick of the political football: what I want is a political consensus.”

Mr Lammy went on to call on Mr Khan and the Government to have a clear consensus on reducing violence.

“Communities have to step up and people have to take responsibility, parents have to take responsibility and I’m not one to shirk that, but communities need support and resources if they are to do this, and the Government and the Mayor need to be clear with a consensus that their ambition is to reduce violence across this city.”

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