‘Up-swing’ in crime in Islington after terror comes to streets

Cllr Paul Convery

Cllr Paul Convery - Credit: Archant

Violent crime made its presence felt on two of Islington’s busiest streets in the space of four days.

Leonie Granger, 24, charged with the murder of Mehmet Hassan

Leonie Granger, 24, charged with the murder of Mehmet Hassan - Credit: Archant

An axe attack in Upper Street during Thursday’s rush hour was followed by a shooting in Essex Road on Monday lunchtime.

It comes after the suspected murder of 56-year-old father-of-three Mehmet Hassan at his flat in Baxter Road, Islington, last week, and was followed by further violence in Finsbury Park on Monday night when a 16-year-old boy suffered stab wounds in a fight.

The week of terror began just days after Islington’s first crime summit, which saw residents raise concerns about violent crime on their streets.

Cllr Paul Convery, Islington Council’s executive member for community safety, said: “Islington is a safe borough, and we’re determined to keep it that way. However, two recent incidents have caused a considerable amount of unease, as they suggest a possible upturn in serious crime.”

Police are searching for two men who rode away from the scene of the shooting in Essex Road on two dark-coloured mopeds.

Cllr Convery said: “There’s no connection between any of the incidents but there are signs of an uptake in criminal activity that are alarming and that we are going to get a grip on. We work closely with Islington police and are meeting with the borough commander to agree further action against suspected criminals.”

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Cllr Convery said that a period of calm had come from police taking key gang members off the streets a couple of years ago but that the “vacuum” was being filled by the younger generation.

Daniel Sheehan, a 23-year-old reformed gang member, said: “Nowadays you don’t know what’s going to happen. When I was involved you weren’t worried about being shot or stabbed. Now you have to get the other person before they kill you.

“When things like this happen people are talking about it and know who did what, but there’s a code not to tell. It’s very sad because it comes down to pride and what other people are going to think of you.”

An 18-year-old from Islington and another 18-year-old from Tottenham were remanded in custody in connection with the Upper Street incident, charged with GBH with intent, affray and possession of an offensive weapon to cause fear and violence.

n Leonie Granger, 24, Balmoral Road, Kent; Nicholas Chandler, 28, Heenan Close, Barking and Kyrran Jackson, 27 of Romborough Way, Lewisham appeared at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court on Monday charged with Mr Hassan’s murder. They were remanded in custody pending a further hearing at the Old Bailey.