The Bishop for Birmingham says the killings of two teenagers at a New Year party have acted as a wake-up call to people living in the city.
Bishop Sentamu was appointed three years ago
The Rt Rev John Sentamu was speaking for the first time since four men were convicted of murdering Charlene Ellis and Letisha Shakespeare in 2003.
He said: "Their deaths gave permission for community response, especially to young people who said enough is enough.
"Letisha and Charlene's murder became a wake-up call to Birmingham."
Letisha, 17, and Charlene, 18, were shot outside a hair salon in Aston on 2 January.
Charlene's half-brother Marcus Ellis, 24, Michael Gregory, 22, and Nathan Martin, 26, must serve at least 35 years after being found guilty.
Rodrigo Simms, 20, also convicted of the murders, was sentenced to 27 years.
The judge handed a lesser sentence to Simms because of his younger age. He was 18 at the time of the incident.
Ugandan-born Bishop Sentamu became the first black bishop in the UK to take charge of an Anglican diocese when he was appointed Bishop for Birmingham in the summer of 2002.