Knife crime has ‘peaked’ says Met Police’s head of gangs team

PUBLISHED: 14:49 31 January 2018 | UPDATED: 14:49 31 January 2018

Detective Inspector Will Lexton-Jones

Detective Inspector Will Lexton-Jones


The Head of Camden and Islington Police’s gangs team has said he believes knife crime in the area has peaked, during a public meeting on knife crime on Tuesday.

Detective Inspector William Lexton-Jones, Head of Central North Police’s Gangs Team also told the Camden Safer Neighbourhood Board meeting he believed the rise was because of a disruption in the drugs market in Camden Town and Camden Lock.

He said: “I think we have gone past the peak of this issue, we’ve seen knife violence and crime being reduced. Other areas, such as Islington have had an incremental increase over time, whereas Camden has had a much sharper rise.

“The disruption of a drugs market is the reason why serious violence will increase.”

Nathalie Stewart, who has previously been Westminster’s representative on the community monitoring network of stop-and-search, said the rise was in part because of more teenagers getting involved in crime. “Knife crime is going up because young people are getting much more involved in violent crime than they did 10-15 years ago.”

The meeting heard from Camden Youth Offending Service’s Eugene Griffin about the role of social media. He said it is often used by gang members to provoke rival gangs and escalate situations.

He said: “A lot of the goading that might happen from a rival gang comes on social media. They can’t be seen to lose face.

“Social media is a major factor in more than 80per cent of stabbings.”

There was a discussion about the use of stop-and-search, the controversial method used to search people the police suspect of being involved in crime, or are about to commit a crime.

According to Det Insp Lexton-Jones, it now has an effectiveness rate of 33pc. He said: “We have identified people who have a history of carrying knives, many of them who reside on the gang matrix and they’re the targets.”

The meeting also heard from Karoline Bober, senior service delivery manager for Victim Support, and acting borough commander for Camden and Islington, Chief Superintendent Nick Davies.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories


Community groups are celebrating after the owners of the “landmark” Alliance pub in West Hampstead had planning permission for extensive remodelling and redevelopment refused.


Twenty-five people, including eleven in Camden, have been charged with drugs offences after two-days of dawn raids in Camden, Islington, Brent and Lambeth.


Sardonic, sarcastic and funny are three of the words that have been used to describe the late-SOAS lecturer and King’s Cross local Prof Lawrence Saez, who died at the beginning of September.


Jamie Brown of Archant Local Impact explains how you can build brand awareness.

Yesterday, 19:01

This year’s Remembrance Day will see a remarkable multi-faith ceremony bring together the Highgate community to remember the horrors of the First World War on the centenary of its conclusion.

Yesterday, 16:43

Christmas came early for activists in West Hampstead last night after Camden Council refused to grant christmas tree sellers Pines and Needles a licence to trade from Fortune Green.

Yesterday, 15:00

“Zero-hours” critical care nurses at the Royal Free Trust are facing a pay cut that could set them back thousands of pounds a year, the Ham&High can reveal.


Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now