London police called an emergency meeting of community leaders on Friday after six stabbings in a matter of hours, as they tried to stem a wave of knife crime that threatens to dominate the city’s politics ahead of local elections in May.

They said they heard first-hand concerns of communities in the meeting, a day after the stabbings, which took place in five separate incidents on Thursday evening.

“(We) have been absolutely clear that we cannot tackle knife crime alone, we cannot enforce our way out of this and will do all we can to mobilize communities behind us and to help protect London,” the Metropolitan Police said in a statement.

London’s murder rate in February and March was higher than New York’s for the first time in modern history, and more killings this week have taken the total to 50. Most were stabbings.

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