The number of violent teenage deaths in London this year could be one of the worst in nearly a decade with two more boys losing their lives in separate stabbings.
So far in the capital in 2021, at least 20 teenagers have been killed in just over six months, leading to concerns that the grim tally for the whole year will exceed the previous high of 27 in 2017. This would mean the highest teenage death toll since 2012.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he was “heartbroken and appalled” after two boys aged 15 and 16 were killed in separate knife attacks on Monday.
The younger boy died when violence broke out near Woolwich Arsenal station in south-east London just after 5.20pm, while the 16-year-old was found injured in Oval Place in Lambeth shortly before midnight.
Earlier this year, senior police officers expressed concern that violence may rise over the summer months as it did last year when lockdown measures were eased.
The surge in 2020 was put down partly to feuds being played out on social media during coronavirus restrictions, and then spilling out on to the streets
But this year the number of violent teenage deaths looks set to be far higher than 2020, and potentially the highest in nearly a decade
According to figures from City Hall, in 2012 there were nine teenage homicides, 12 in 2013, 13 in 2014, 19 in 2015 and 13 in 2016
After the peak in 2017, there were 24 such deaths in 2018, 26 in 2019 and 14 in 2020 – although the country was in lockdown for large chunks of that year.
In April this year, police forces across the UK staged a national crackdown on knife crime, deploying knife arches and sniffer dogs in busy areas and encouraging the public to hand in weapons.