The fatal stabbings of two boys in separate incidents has taken the number of teenagers murdered in London to the highest level since the Second World War.
A 15-year-old lad was stabbed to death in a park in Croydon, while a 16-year-old was fatally knifed in Uxbridge - within minutes of each other last night.
Their deaths took the number of teenagers murdered in the capital this year to 30, the highest number since the Second World War. The previous highest toll was 29 in 2008.
There are actually more teen murders in London now than there were total murders across the whole of the 50s and 60s.
Population changes have impacted this, however the spike in youth killings is a relatively recent phenomenon.
The 15-year-old was found with multiple stab wounds in Ashburton Park in Croydon, south London, just after 7pm last night.
Police and paramedics tried to save him, but he was pronounced dead at the scene 35 minutes later.
There have been no arrests and police are appealing for witnesses.
A Scotland Yard spokeswoman said: “Detectives are investigating after a teenager was found with stab injuries in Croydon.
“Police were made aware of an assault in Ashburton Park Shortly after 7pm on Thursday.
“Officers attended and found a 15-year-old boy suffering from stab injuries.
“Officers immediately provided first aid prior to the arrival of the London Ambulance Service.
“Despite their efforts, he was pronounced dead at the scene at 7.36pm. His next of kin have been informed.
“Formal identification has not taken place. A post-mortem examination will be held in due course.
“Detectives from the Specialist Crime Command have been informed. A crime scene remains in place.”
She added: “At this early stage, there have been no arrests and enquiries continue.”
A second murder probe was launched launched following the fatal stabbing of a 16-year-old boy in Uxbridge.
Police were called by paramedics just after 7.30pm to reports of an injured boy at the Philpotts Farm Open Space close to Heather Lane.
The Scotland Yard spokeswoman said: “Officers attended and found a 16-year-old suffering from a puncture wound.
“Despite the efforts of paramedics, he was pronounced dead at the scene at 8.25pm.
“His next of kin have been informed and are being supported by specially trained officers. A post-mortem examination will be held in due course.
“Detectives from the Specialist Crime Command are investigating. There have been no arrests and enquiries continue.”
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I am truly devastated by the deaths of a 15-year-old boy in Croydon and a 16-year-old boy in Hillingdon.
“Senseless violence has once again resulted in the loss of two young men with their lives in front of them and my thoughts and prayers are with the victims’ families, friends and communities at this awful time.
“I continue to remain in close contact with the Met Police who are doing everything possible to bring those responsible for these killings to justice. Anyone with information should contact the police or Crimestoppers anonymously. There is absolutely no honour in staying silent.
“Since before the pandemic, the level of knife crime and youth violence in London has been decreasing meaning fewer violent attacks, fewer victims in hospital and fewer young offenders.
“Sadly, due to the increasing ferocity of the attacks, this hasn’t yet translated to fewer teenage homicides.
“I refuse to accept that the loss of young lives is inevitable and will continue to be relentless in taking the bold action needed to put an end to violence in our city.”
Earlier this month, a former gang leader told LondonWorld that the government ignored advice about youth violence.
Sheldon Thomas, who runs the outreach group Gangsline, said: “The problem for us is that statutory agencies, which are local government, the youth offending service, probation services, social services, tend to not want to listen to advice.
“What happens is, people who have lived experience or former gang members like myself, are either ignored or they get offended when you tell them they have to do certain things to change that narrative.
“They don’t deal with the reality which is what we’re telling them and that’s the biggest problem in government over the last 20 years when it comes to dealing with gangs, county lines and grooming.”
According to the Met Police commissioner Dame Cressida Dick, victims of homicide aged between 14 and 25 are 97% male and 72% black.
“You are 12% more likely if you are a young black man than a young white man to be a victim,” she said at the London Assembly earlier this month.
“Just as an example, you are 20 times more likely to find black perpetrators of discharge of firearms.”
The 30 teens murdered in London in 2021
- Jan 20: Anas Mezenner, 17, died in hospital after being stabbed in Tottenham the previous evening.
- Jan 25: Romario Opia, 15, stabbed to death in Archway.
- Feb 11: Hani Solomon, 19, stabbed to death outside Parsons Green tube station.
- Feb 19. Drekwon Patterson, 16, died in hospital after being stabbed repeatedly in Wembley the previous evening.
- Feb 26: Ahmed Beker, 19, stabbed to death on Paddington Green just a short distance from where his cousin Yousef, 17, was fatally knifed 18 months earlier.
- March 3: Music student Tai O’Donnell, 19, stabbed to death in Croydon.
- March 6: Mazaza Owusu-Mensah, 18, stabbed to death in Abbey Wood.
- March 8: Nikolay Vandev, 19, stabbed to death in Tottenham.
- March 10: Ezra Okobia, 14, dies in hospital from his injuries four days after his five-year-old brother Joseph Okobia died following a fire at their family’s flat in Greenwich. Their mother Victoria Amaning, 34, died from her injuries on March 11. Police believe the fire was started deliberately inside the address, and ruled out the involvement of a third party.
- March 17: law student Hussain Chaudhry, 18, fatally stabbed in the neck in Walthamstow.
- April 10: disabled student Levi Ernest-Morrison, 17, fatally stabbed in Sydenham.
- April 23: Fares Maatou, 14, stabbed to death in broad daylight in Canning Town.
- April 26: Abubakar ‘Junior’ Jah, 18, stabbed and shot in broad daylight in Canning Town near where his older brother Ahmed Jah, 21, was fatally stabbed four years earlier.
- May 7: Daniel Laskos, 16, stabbed to death in Harold Wood.
- June 8: Taylor Cox, 19, shot in the head in broad daylight in Crouch Hill.
- June 10: Denardo Samuels-Brooks, 17, stabbed to death in Streatham.
- June 11: Jalan Woods-Bell, 15, stabbed to death in Hayes.
- June 25: Tashawn Watt, 19, stabbed to death in Sydenham.
- July 1: Camron Smith, 16, stabbed to death on the Shrublands Estate in Croydon.
- July 5: Tamim Ian Habimana, 15, stabbed to death in Woolwich.
- July 5. Keane Flynn-Harling, 16, stabbed to death in The Oval area of south London.
- July 11. Damarie Omare Roye, 16, died in hospital two days after being stabbed in Thornton Heath.
- Aug 10: Stelios Averkiou, 16, dies in hospital nine days after being repeatedly stabbed in a park in Tottenham.
- Sep 1: Alex Ajanaku, 18, shot dead in Leyton after an unlicensed music event.
- Oct 12: Afghan refugee Hazrat Wali, 18, stabbed to death in Twickenham.
- Oct 28. Kamran Khalid, 18, fatally stabbed in Ilford.
- Nov 18: Jermaine Cools, 14, stabbed to death in Croydon.
- Nov 24: Rishmeet Singh, 16, stabbed to death in Southall.
- Dec 30: Boy, 15, stabbed to death in Croydon.
- Dec 30. Boy, 16, stabbed to death in Uxbridge.
Teenagers murdered in London by year
- 2007 27
- 2008 29
- 2009 15
- 2010 19
- 2011 15
- 2012 8
- 2013 12
- 2014 11
- 2015 19
- 2016 12
- 2017 26
- 2018 24
- 2019 25
- 2020 17
- 2021 30 (by December 30)
The data includes any teen death when a murder inquiry is launched at the beginning of the investigation.