Nearly half of shootings investigated by Met Police go unsolved with victims instead wanting revenge

Mysterious unrecognizable man carrying a gun at night.
-Credit: (Image: Getty)


New figures show that 48 per cent of shootings investigated in London go unsolved. The latest Met Police data shows shootings leading to a prosecution are at 52 per cent - the highest in over a decade - but that means 48 per cent of gun crimes go unpunished.

Police put this down to victims enacting revenge themselves, as well as being too frightened to cooperate. The numbers also showed that in 2023, 46 per cent of the 386 confiscated firearms were converted blank firers.

Commander Paul Brogden said: “It comes down to trust within our communities, we need the communities to trust us with evidence, trust us with handling Ring doorbell footage, CCTV access. People are worried, people are frightened, victims are frightened and often are reluctant to come forward.

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The scene in Kingsland Road, Dalston after a shooting  left a child fighting for their life in hospital
The scene in Kingsland Road, Dalston after a shooting left a child fighting for their life in hospital -Credit:James Manning/PA Wire

"We encourage them to trust us, we will keep them safe. While our outcome rates have improved, there are 48 per cent that we haven’t managed to solve.” But he added that investigators have “long memories” and will find assailants for years, especially in tit-for-tat shootings.

Detective Superintendent Victoria Sullivan, a specialist crime officer based in South East London, said: “Often the victim themselves who’s been shot do not want to divulge to police and that might be because they’re seeking retribution themselves. So potentially today’s victim could be tomorrow’s suspect. And that’s why it’s really important that we act really, really quickly to try and dissolve that situation.”

About half of London’s shootings are linked to gangland warfare. Gang links are a key line of inquiry in the shooting of a nine-year-old girl in Hackney last month. She’s still critically ill in hospital after she was hit in a drive-by-shooting while out for dinner with her parents in Hackney.

The Met says the number of incidents where a gun is fired, termed lethal barrelled discharges, is at its lowest for 15 years, having dropped from 196 to 145 since March 2023. Firearm killings have also fallen year on year for the last three years – from 12 in 2021/22 to 10 in 2022/23, eight in 2023/24, and there have been two so far this year.

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