Policing, deterrence and punishment will always form a key part of tackling violence, and the sharp rise in the use of stop and search powers across Havering is already having an impact. But as I wrote in this column last year, police officers cannot do everything. We stand a better chance of preventing violent crime if we involve all parts of the community in the fightback.
The evolution of gangs, drug markets and technology combine in a "perfect storm" to intensify problems facing the police when it comes to tackling serious violence among young people in Barking and Dagenham, Redbridge, and Havering.
Havering's councillors are to vote next week on proposals to increase their basic allowances for the first time in 12 years - a move that would, if approved, see the borough's wage bill for elected members rise to almost £1million.
Tributes have been paid to the former headteacher of Coopers' Company and Coborn School and Sixth Form in Upminster, Dr David Parry, after his sudden and unexpected death yesterday (Sunday, February 9).
The new year is traditionally a time for couples to take advice on divorce with all the impact that separation can have on the family and its finances. It's always stressful, but there are ways of winding down the tension.