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Sadiq Khan calls for more police funding and powers on community march with Rhyhiem Ainsworth Barton’s family

Sadiq Khan joined a silent march in memory of seventeen-year-old Rhyhiem Ainsworth Barton, who was fatally shot in Kennington on Saturday, amid calls for extra police powers and finding.

The Mayor of London visited the Brandon Estate, off John Ruskin Street, to show support for Rhyhiem’s mother, Pretana Morgan, and was joined by MPs Harriet Harman, Neil Coyle and David Lammy.

Supporters and well-wishers marched from the Kennington estate to Peckham, calling to end the spate of violence in the capital.

A spokesperson for the Mayor of London told the News at the time of going to press: “Sadiq stood alongside the family of Rhyhiem Barton, (pictured), last night as they held a silent march in his memory.

“Over the past few days we have seen a number of violent incidents across our city and, tragically, Rhyhiem lost his life.

“The Mayor’s heart goes out to his mother Pretana Morgan, his friends and family and the entire community on the Brandon Estate, as well as the other victims who have been injured.

“This violent crime in London and across our country is simply unacceptable. It cannot be tolerated.

“Keeping Londoners safe is Sadiq’s top priority – he remains in constant contact with the Metropolitan Police and is reassured that they are doing everything they can to bring those responsible to justice and to protect us all.

“However, the police service in London, like the rest of the country, is overstretched and under-resourced.

“Sadiq refuses to accept that nothing can be done to stem the appalling tide of violent killings we are seeing on our streets and together with the police, community groups, victims and their families and Londoners, will continue to work ceaselessly to tackle violent crime.”

His comments were echoed by local MP Neil Coyle, who told the News: “I am working with the family, community, police, Mayor of London, council, and all willing to help to try and prevent any escalation of violence and to bring this teenager’s killer to justice.

“I will be seeking extra police resources and powers to tackle the rising national problem of violent crime.”

Rhyhiem Ainsworth Barton, aged seventeen, was found with a gunshot injury in Warham Street on Saturday, May 5, after reports of gunshots heard in nearby Cooks Road, Kennington, at about 6.05pm.

London Ambulance Service and Air Ambulance provided first aid at the scene but Rhyhiem was pronounced dead at 6.56pm.

No arrests have yet been made and police inquiries continue, with witnesses and anyone with information urged to come forward.

Speaking outside Peckham police station on Sunday, May 6, Southwark Borough Commander Detective Chief Superintendent Simon Messinger said: “My thoughts are with Rhyhiem’s family, friends and the wider community at this devastating time.

“Our homicide team are carrying out an investigation to catch the people responsible.

“This investigation is fast paced and progressing all the time.

“The violence used has rightly caused concern and we are doing all we can to address this.

“Locally we are also employing intelligence-led search powers under Section 60 – my colleagues on the streets are using this power really effectively, seizing knives, stopping cars of individuals carrying weapons and making arrests.

“Furthermore, we have been working with our partners and the local authority, speaking regularly with community leaders to brief them on our response.

“Violence has no place on our streets. If you are carrying a weapon in Southwark linked to gang activity, you need to know that we can and will take action against you.

“I want the community to help us tackle this problem.

“As a father, community member and a police officer, I will do absolutely all I can to keep young people and the wider community safe. We can only achieve this if we work together.”

Police would like to hear from anyone who was in the vicinity of Aberfeldy House at the time of the shooting.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the incident room on 020 8721 4005 or via 101 quoting reference cad 6414/5May.

Alternatively, they can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


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