Editor’s comment: Murder is on front page of tomorrow’s Gazette – again

Abraham Badru was shot dead on Sunday.

Abraham Badru was shot dead on Sunday. - Credit: Archant

There is a large, hand-drawn chart on the wall behind me headed “active murder cases”.

As journalists, we are sometimes accused of being desensitised, over-familiar with the horrors of violent crime by reporting on too many tragic, senseless killings.

But actually I don’t think it ever gets less shocking or upsetting, and I hope that’s the case for our readers, too.

That’s why I’ve taken the unusual step of running two murder investigations on the front page in as many weeks.

It’s unusual, thankfully, because rarely if ever do two killings actually take place in one borough in a fortnight.

It’s also odd because it is received (though I suspect totally untested) wisdom that every front page should be completely different from the previous week’s in case people get confused at the newsagent.

Whether there is one murder investigation launched in 10 years or one every seven days, we should never cease to be appalled by the loss of life.

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We should never cease to be moved by the words of a heartbroken family.

We should never take for granted that violent deaths just happen, sometimes, because they never should.

We should never see one death as more or less of a tragedy than another.

Sadly, I have to conclude from the last few weeks that there are people walking our streets for whom those tragedies have precisely become the norm, who see no other way to live than by carrying weapons – not only knives but increasingly now guns? – and who are unable to perceive the consequences of killing someone, or are too locked into a way of life to be able to see a way out. And it is them we have to reach. So I make no apologies about today’s front page. Direct any angry newsagents my way.