Is this the beginning of the end for Britain's unarmed bobbies on the beat ? Taken from the BBC website today> Armed police to tackle shootings The teenager was found dead in his own home Armed officers will be patrolling the streets as a part of a new taskforce set up to tackle a spate of fatal shootings in south London. The move was announced following the killing of a 15-year-old boy in his home in Clapham North, on Wednesday. William Cox, known as Billy, was shot in the chest. Police added they have arrested a man in connection with the murder of Michael Dostum, 15, shot in his home in Peckham last week. Billy was found dead in his home in the Fenwick Place area of Clapham North on Wednesday afternoon. The vast majority of young people on the Fenwick Estate and in the entire area are decent young kids Peter Robbins Lambeth councillor How can police tackle gun crime? Police were called to the house after a relative discovered his body. Officers said the back door of the house open and there was no sign of forced entry. Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair met senior officers from the Met's Specialist Crime Directorate to discuss the recent shootings on Thursday morning before announcing the new taskforce. It will involve more armed operations with armed officers in police vehicles patrolling hotspots. And it will run alongside Operation Trident, which investigates gun crime in London's Afro-Caribbean community. See a map of the shootings Sir Ian has also suggested to the home secretary that the age limit for the five year mandatory sentence for carrying guns should be lowered from 21 to 17. He said the home secretary "agreed to look at it sympathetically". On 6 February, 15-year-old Michael Dosunmu was shot dead in the bedroom of his Peckham home. Police believe he was a victim of mistaken identity. 'Wild west' Three days earlier, 16-year-old James Andre Smartt-Ford died after he was shot at Streatham Ice Arena. Peter Robbins, a Lambeth councillor, said although gun crime was a problem, it was wrong to portray the Fenwick Place as "the Wild West". "There seems to be a willingness for people to almost ignore guns when they see them... but I just do want to make the point that the vast majority of young people on the Fenwick Estate and in the entire area are decent young kids," he said. "There is a minority of young people involved in gun crime and that's what needs to be addressed." 'Culture of impunity' Harriet Harman, the MP for Camberwell and Peckham, said policing was of "utmost importance" to shatter the "culture of impunity" that existed among the local criminal gangs. "It's very important that those who get involved in these crimes know that they are not more powerful than the law," she said. "I think there is this sense of a sort of culture of impunity amongst the gangs, that they think they are more powerful than the criminal justice system." She added that parents lacked the "right support" and stressed that authorities needed to focus on "early intervention to prevent these crimes happening in the first place". The Clapham North investigation is being handed over to Operation Trident, which investigates gun crime in the black community. Guns have gone from the domain of the crack cocaine dealers to now being an everyday accessory, a fashionable accessory Claudia Webbe, Operation Trident Claudia Webbe, who is vice chair of the independent advisory group to the operation, told Radio Four's Today programme that guns were becoming part of everyday life for some young people. "Guns have gone from the domain of the crack cocaine dealers to now being an everyday accessory, a fashionable accessory, that young people want to be seen with, unfortunately," she said. "It's become a lifestyle choice where it's become part of a culture to be part of a gang. "I think that's what's motivating young people, where a gun has become almost a status symbol demanding respect and power." 'Reassure communities' A community worker in south London, Jennifer Blake, told BBC Breakfast that families needed to pull together to deal with the problem of gun crime. "Parents need to know more about, and understand more about, where these things are coming from - getting to know more about who... the groups that they're moving with... there's a concern with parents because they want to know where these guns are coming from and how easy access they are." Ben Okechukwu, father of Ruth Okechukwu, who was stabbed to death by Robert Malasi in 2005, said "not enough was being done to check the infiltration of guns and knives" and that it was a "lack of confidence" that led youths to be "sucked up" by gangs. We would like to reassure the communities in south London that we are taking the current situation very seriously Scotland Yard statement On Wednesday, Malasi was jailed for 30 years for killing Ms Okechukwu and Zainab Kalokoh. Scotland Yard said gun crime in London was continuing to fall despite the latest shooting. In a statement, the force said: "We would like to reassure the communities in south London that we are taking the current situation very seriously and are doing everything in our power to find those responsible." A Home Office spokesman said Home Secretary John Reid will be meeting with MPs from south London to discuss the issue, but no date has been fixed yet. "Following discussions with local MPs in the area, the Home Secretary will be inviting members of all parties representing seats in South London to a meeting at the Home office to discuss the wider issues surrounding guns, gangs and knives."