On Saturday 5th May 2018 at just after 6pm 17 year old Rhyheim Ainsworth Barton was tragically shot on Cooks Road and later died outside Aberfeldy House on Warham Road.
Rhyheim lived with his mother and younger sister in Southwark, he was an aspiring architect and a keen rapper.
This is such a tragic loss of such a young life.
No parent should have to worry about their child being safe in their local area and the police are doing everything they can to identify the perpetrators of this terrible crime and bring them to justice.
I have visited Rhyheim's devastated mother, Pretana, to pay my respects and offer my assistance to the family and I remain in regular contact with the police who tell me they have deployed extra officers for community reassurance as well as for the absolute necessity of bringing the killers to justice.
On 8th May I attended a community briefing on the Brandon Estate with Rhyheim's family; local residents; TRA Chair, Sheila Benjamin; Southwark Police; Southwark Council Leader, Cllr Peter John; Rhyheim’s local MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark, Neil Coyle; David Lammy, MP for Tottenham, who is leading on tackling youth crime in Parliament; and Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London. We stood together in memory of 17 year old Rhyheim and discussed action to prevent any more young people from losing their lives.
Enough is enough. No more families or communities can mourn the loss of a child to violent crime. I will continue to work with the local community and parliamentary colleagues to call on the Government to reverse cuts to youth centres, police officers and schools to prevent further tragedy.
If you think you saw or heard anything on the evening of Saturday 5th May that could help the police with their investigation I urge you to come forward. Any information you provide could help ensure other families do not have to go through the pain that Rhyheim’s mother is going through.
I know people sometimes hesitate to come forward. If you do not want to contact the police directly you can pass information entirely anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.