Georgia Gould and Keir Starmer call for more police funding after third person killed in Camden in one week

Police presence and cordon outside Hardington block Belmont St NW1 on 09.09.19. Picture: Polly Hanco

Police presence and cordon outside Hardington block Belmont St NW1 on 09.09.19. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

Georgia Gould and Keir Starmer have called on the government to prioritise funding more police after three people were killed in Camden in the space of a week.

Cllr Georgia Gould, leader of Camden Council and Keir Starmer, MP for Holborn and St Pancras and co-chair of Camden's Youth Safety Taskforce said the violence is "a crisis for Camden, London and the country" in a joint statement.

Last night a man in his 20s was stabbed in Camden High Street and died at the scene, while another young man is in hospital.

On Sunday night 24-year-old Wilson Varela was killed in a drive-by shooting and Shakira Mercedes was stabbed to death in Belmont Chalk Farm.

An extra 50 police officers are out on the streets today and over the weekend, in and around Camden Town.

"Over the last few weeks we have experienced an unprecedented increase in violence on our streets - violence which has now resulted in the tragic deaths of three people in less than a week," said Gould and Starmer.

"We cannot bring these young people back, or ease the grief of their families, friends and communities.

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"Our community is smaller without them, and we must recognise that whatever has been done to date has not been enough to keep them safe."

They continued: "We understand the fear and anxiety that our communities will feel today. We feel the same worries. We need extra police on our streets now and in the future. In Camden, this is our first priority and we are today coming together to understand what more we can do with our communities to stop the violence.

"We also need Government to prioritise resources - we need investment in our police and investment in our young people."

A Section 60 Order - giving the police additional stop and search powers - is in place across Camden.

Anyone with information about the incidents is urged to call police on 101 quoting reference number CAD 8865/12Sep, or anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.