South London Press crime reporter Leon Watson has racked up ten successive front page splashes.
The 29-year-old covered five murders during a month-long series of articles in the twice-weekly paper.
Stories included a sit down chat with detectives from the Met’s specialist shootings team Operation Trident, who opened their files on South London’s unsolved murders, and exclusive pictures of the police haul which led to the caging of a notorious gang ‘general’.
Since joining the paper in December, Leon has had something of a baptism of fire. From January he has covered a staggering 40 murders on the South London Press patch across the London boroughs of Lambeth, Southwark, Lewisham and Wandsworth.
He has also bagged an exclusive on TV tough guy Ross Kemp’s house being attacked – possibly by a gang he exposed on the show ‘Ross Kemp on Gangs’ – and managed to secure interviews with a series of grieving families.
The former Croydon Advertiser and South Wales Evening Post reporter said: “Most of the front page stories we’ve had between September 11 and October 12 have come through well-placed police contacts and a grim run of tragic incidents.
“It has been quite a depressing time for our area considering how many murders have taken place and it feels wrong to take anything from that.
“But I have worked hard to establish trust with the families affected and hope my articles have helped police in their investigations. Most of the stories have also appeared in the nationals the following day.
“We have a unique patch here with problems on a scale you won’t find anywhere else in the country. But we also have a unique relationship with police which enables us to get information no one else would. The cops here know how much we can help them and treat me as one of their own.”
The run was broken only when Leon went on holiday to Canada.