‘More by chance than design’: Top cop offers reassurance after shooting in Barking

Det Chief Supt Stephen Clayman. Picture: MPS

Det Chief Supt Stephen Clayman. Picture: MPS - Credit: MPS

The borough’s police chief has said a shooting in Barking which left a man fighting for his life happened “more by chance than design”.

Det Chief Supt Stephen Clayman issued a statement just over a week after two men were injured in Wilmington Gardens on June 4.

He said: “I hope that many of you will have seen the update that arrests have been made in connection with the investigation being led by colleagues from [gun crime unit] Trident.

“They continue to relentlessly pursue all those involved and provide support to those directly affected.”

He added the fact the shooting happened in Wilmington Gardens was “more by chance than design”.

“[B]ut nevertheless, this must have been extremely distressing for those of you who witnessed what happened or have seen some of the footage circulating on social media,” Det Chief Supt Clayman said.

Specialist firearms officers, paramedics and London’ Air Ambulance were called to the street near Barking station following reports of shots being fired at 2.14pm.

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A 27-year-old man, arrested in West Ealing on suspicion of attempted murder on June 9, has been released pending further enquiries.

A 16-year-old boy, arrested on suspicion of affray, was also bailed.

Of the two victims, a 24-year-old remains in a critical condition while the second, believed to be in his 20s, suffered injuries deemed not to be life-threatening by police.

Det Chief Supt Clayman sought to reassure neighbours in his statement, saying: “Despite the fact many of you may feel that you don’t see enough police officers about, I can assure you that my colleagues continue to work hard 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to ensure that you feel safe.”

He welcomed the arrival of more officers in Barking and Dagenham as a “great investment” assuring people would see them out and about and especially in town centres.

And he said that while the police don’t always appear to act on every piece of information officers receive, they are noted and help build up a picture of what is happening over time and who is responsible.

“The Met is committed to tackling violence,” he said.

If you saw the shooting, or have images or video that could help police, call 101 quoting reference CAD 3913/04Jun. To remain anonymous call the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.