THE murder of a man in a flat in Boscombe on Wednesday was a professional ‘gangland execution.’ The victim – who has been named locally and in London as Reece James– was shot in the face by members of a rival gang.

It was described by local MP Tobias Ellwood as “a spillover from the drugs turf war in the capital.”

He added: “This was one London gang chasing down another, carrying out a professional hit and then going back.”

The MP last night wrote to Dorset’s Chief Constable, Martin Baker, to demand answers on how the force was dealing with gang-related violence in Bournemouth, which in part involves Somalis.

The dead man was 21 and from Wembley, North London.

Tributes left for him online indicated he was a member of the Church Road Soldiers, a gang known to operate out of the Church End Estate in Harlesden.

Police threw a huge cordon around the crime scene in Roumelia Lane after the shooting in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

The body remained at the scene of the crime until yesterday afternoon to allow for detailed forensic examination without disturbing the crime scene.

It was removed and further tests were due to be carried out before the formal identification procedure.

The victim’s next of kin have been informed of his death but no family members are believed to have yet visited Bournemouth.

Yesterday police arrested one man, aged 22.

Detective Chief Inspector Kevin Connolly, of Dorset Police ’s Major Crime Team, said: “We are still investigating the circumstances of this death but I believe this was a pre-planned and targeted attack by a number of offenders.

“I would like to reassure the local community that there is no immediate concern for the safety of the public.”

Police are stepping up patrols in and around Boscombe in a bid to reassure the public that the situation is under control.

Mr Ellwood, who represents Bournemouth East, said: “Obviously I am concerned at the situation and the ratcheting up of violence here, but I think we need to keep it in context.

“I believe this should be seen as a one-off. This is someone else’s war in our area, not locally generated.

“We need to remember the huge amount of good work going on to improve Boscombe.”

He said police had to send out “a clear message that Boscombe is not open for this kind of business.”

Dorset Police are working closely with counterparts in the Met to track down the killer or killers.

It’s understood that enquiries are focussing on a number of areas of London as well as locally.

The Met referred all enquiries on the case back to Dorset Police.


Read our rolling coverage .