Sadiq Khan has suggested London’s recent spate of violent crime is due to longer days, school holidays and summer heatwaves.
The mayor of London was speaking after six homicides had been reported in the capital in less than a week, including the stabbing of 87-year-old Thomas O’Halloran in Greenford, west London, on Tuesday.
On Saturday, 25-year-old Kacey Boothe was shot in Walthamstow, north London, and the next day Stephen Goodman, 60 was found dead in Dagenham, east London.
Also on Sunday, Sonny Booty, 36, was found dead in a residential property in Lewisham.
Monday saw the fatal stabbing of Li Sung, 58, just off Oxford Street, central London, and Aziza Bennis, 58, in Ealing, west London.
Addressing the surge in violence, Mr Khan told LBC on Thursday: “We have seen over the last few days, the last week, a number of awful homicides.
“I’m afraid this summer we are seeing what we feared, which is an increase in violent crime… there are longer daylight hours, school holidays, a heatwave and so forth.
“We are working with the police to suppress that violence.”
On what measures are being taken, he said authorities are supporting communities to keep young people busy this summer with constructive activities.
On the stabbing of Mr O’Halloran, Mr Khan said: “I can understand why Londoners are feeling worried, feeling frightened. This was an 87-year-old man stabbed to death in daylight hours.
“It’s no consolation if you’re the victim of violent crime but teenage homicides have gone down 68% this year; gun crime, knife crime, burglaries, burglary crimes have all been going down.
“It’s no consolation, that’s why it’s really important at the same time that we lobby the Government for more resources, we support communities where there have been particular concerns, but also support police in suppressing this violence.”