How many stabbings took place in London and other Brit regions over the last year? There were 37,443 recorded knife offences and 6,694 recorded gun offences in the year up to September 2017.
In London the problem was even more pronounced than the rest of the country, with 12,980 knife crimes taking place in the capital – 2,452 more than the equivalent year.
David Lammy, the Labour MP for Tottenham, has accused the prime minister and home secretary of abdicating responsibility after another fatal stabbing on Wednesday night brought the number of killings in London this year to more than 50.
The latest victim, believed to be in his early 20s, approached officers in Link Street, Hackney, just before 8pm on Wednesday night with stab wounds. He was given first aid by the officers but died at the scene about 25 minutes later. There have been no arrests and a crime scene remains in place.
Stabbings in London are at their highest level in six years, with a 23 per cent rise from the previous year.
London police investigated more murders than their New York counterparts did over the last two months, statistics show, as the British capital’s mayor vowed to fight a “violent scourge” on the streets.
There were 15 murders in London in February against 14 in New York, according to London’s Metropolitan Police Service and the New York Police Department. For March, 22 murders were investigated in London, with 21 reports in New York.
In the latest bloodshed, a 17-year-old girl died on Monday after she was found with gunshot wounds in Tottenham, north London, a day after a man was fatally stabbed in south London.
“The Mayor is deeply concerned by violent crime in the capital – every life lost to violent crime is a tragedy,” a spokeswoman for Mayor Sadiq Khan said in a statement on Tuesday.
“Our city remains one of the safest in the world … but Sadiq wants it to be even safer and is working hard to bring an end to this violent scourge.”
Including January’s figures, New York had still experienced more murders so far this year than London. The cities have a similar-sized population.
Gun violence is much less of a problem in Britain, which has strict gun control laws, than in the United States, and most British police are not equipped with firearms.
But British politicians and police are increasingly expressing concern about London’s rising murder rate, which is driven by a surge in knife crime. Of the 47 murders in London so far this year, 31 have been committed with knives.
Labour’s Diane Abbott has called for an anti-knife crime strategy in London similar to that of Glasgow after a young man stabbed in Hackney brought the total number of suspected knife murders in the capital.
Britain’s interior ministry said it was consulting on new laws to further restrict dangerous weapons, including banning online stores from delivering knives to residential addresses and making it an offence to possess certain weapons in public.
“This government is taking action to restrict access to offensive weapons as well as working to break the deadly cycle of violence and protect our children, families and communities,” a Home Office spokesman said.
Khan, who has been in office since May 2016, is from the opposition Labour Party. Before him, Conservative Boris Johnson was mayor for eight years. The national government has been run by the Conservatives since 2010, with Prime Minister Theresa May previously serving as interior minister from 2010 to 2016.
Britain’s most senior officer, London police chief Cressida Dick, said gangs were using online platforms to glamorise violence, adding that disputes between young people could escalate within minutes on social media.
The Ben Kinsella Trust, an anti-knife crime charity named after a young victim, said social media amplified a range of other factors that have contributed to the crisis.
The charity’s CEO Patrick Green said there had been extra funding to tackle knife crime, which he welcomed, but added that the government needed to act with more urgency and that budget cuts affecting youth services had played a part.
“This has been a horrendous year. It’s looking like it’ll be worse that last year, which was worse than the year before,” he told Reuters.
“The response so far has been too slow… It feels like we’re in a crisis and we need to respond in that way.”
Ms said: “It’s really tragic, it’s really horrible and mothers all over the capital must be thinking ‘I can say goodbye to my son this morning but will he come back tonight?’
“Whether their son will turn out to be a victim or a perpetrator, it’s traumatising for families.”
Diane Abbott blamed the wave of bloodshed on London’s streets on cuts to policing and youth and social services.
“Here in Hackney we’ve lost one in 10 of our police officers since 2010, but there also needs to be more work done in youth work, in schools, even in mental health,” she said.