Council chiefs have been quizzed over how it is dealing with a “recent rise” in gang violence in the north of Bromley.

The questions come following a spike in violence across the capital, and the council was pressed on what it is doing to combat the problem locally following a meeting on Monday night.

Councillor Kate Lymer, portfolio holder for public protection and safety, said the council has prioritised developing a Gangs Strategy that will focus on serious youth violence.

She added that work is also being done with the Home Office and Mayor’s Office to review and map out gang networks and youth violence.

Leader of the opposition, councillor Angela Wilkins, said there was still more work to be done.

She said: “I welcome Cllr Lymer’s expressed commitment to developing and delivering a Youth Violence Strategy for Bromley. However we need actions not words.

“When Michael Jonas was murdered in Betts Park last November, Cllr Lymer agreed to look at putting CCTV and lighting into the park – but this still hasn’t been done. And it wouldn’t cost a lot; at the moment, local people are too scared to use their park after dusk and that’s not acceptable.

“Gang violence is a complex area, with no single cause, but the council has cut funding to youth services and also cut the ethnic minorities support officer already and this won’t have helped.

“Preventative, early intervention work across the various disciplines and working with other agencies such as the police and community leaders is essential and what we will be fighting for.”

Michael Jonas, 17, was found stabbed in November and was pronounced dead at the scene in Betts Park.

Charges against six teenagers were dropped in January as the Met continues to piece together what happened.

So far this year there have been 50 murders in the capital alone – although statistically Bromley is low in terms of crime compared to neighbouring boroughs.

Cllr Lymer said after Monday’s meeting: “Preventative and early intervention action is being undertaken through numerous anti-gang programmes being implemented in Schools specifically in the north of the borough, and there are representatives on the Bromley Safer Neighbourhood Board from our borough’s various communities and groups.

“We are already investing significant resources in CCTV, including in Penge and Anerley, which helps Police gather evidence in the event of a crime. It is not about money – whilst we will always review our current coverage, simply expanding CCTV is not the answer and neither is installing lighting in dark areas which can imply that they are safe to use after dark.”

Cllr Lymer said investment is being made into security patrols in parks by ward security, and that the council is working closely with police.

The Mayor of London recently introduced targeted patrols with extra stop and search powers for the worst affected areas by knife crime.