Two Hospitalised As Police Investigate Drive-By Shooting In Romford
Police in London are launching an investigation after two women were rushed to hospital following a drive-by shooting in Romford last night.
The two young female victims, aged 24 and 23, were sitting in a black Audi 4x4 on Brentwood Road when they were targeted by assailants who opened fire from another vehicle.
A member of the public took the two girls to and East London hospital immediately following the attack.
Their injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.
An anonymous eyewitness told local paper the Romford Recorder that they had seen a silver car drive up alongside the victims shortly before the incident.
They said: "It was a silver car - it pulled up alongside as the two women were sitting in theirs, and then before you knew it, you heard five or six gunshots and the silver car drove off.
"Then the two girls stumbled down to the corner of Wheatsheaf Road and got into another car that looked like it had been waiting for them on the corner.
The witness continued: "The car was in a right state, the bullets had gone all the way in one side and out the other. No one saw much of the girls, they got out the area really quickly. Apparently someone took them straight to hospital."
Brett Connors, who lives nearby, told the Evening Standard: "I heard four or five shot gun bangs and two cars speeding off past my window, and then two women running up the road.
"I now understand the two women running away were injured and the ones that got shot in the car."
Recent reports suggest that the bullet-riddled car is still sat in the same location.
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A Met Police spokesman said: "Officers, including armed officers, attended the scene in Brentwood Road and found evidence of a discharge of a firearm.
"A crime scene is now in place. The victims - aged 24 and 23 - have injuries described as not life threatening, but remain in hospital at this time.
"There have been no arrests at this stage."
Gun-related offences in London rose by 42% last year, according to official statistics.
The Metropolitan Police's figures showed there were 2,544 gun crime offences from April 2016 to April 2017, compared to 1,793 offences from the previous year.
Martin Hewitt, assistant commissioner responsible for territorial policing, said: "Similar to the rest of England and Wales, crime rates in London are rising, but many of these are still at a much lower level than five years ago and are against the backdrop of significant reductions in resources."
He added that while gun crime was on the rise, knife crime continued to be the primary issue.
"Whilst we continue to focus on reducing stabbings by taking weapons and dangerous offenders off the streets, prevention and diversion from knife crime is key," he said.
"There are complex social reasons why more young people are carrying knives and this cannot be solved by the police alone. We must work with communities to help combat knife crime."
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