London's murder toll hits shameful high as boy is stabbed to death

London’s teenage murder toll hits shameful record high as boy, 16, is stabbed to death in Hillingdon making him the capital’s 30th young homicide in 2021

  • Unnamed 16-year-old boy was stabbed to death at Philpotts Farm Open Space  
  • Just minutes earlier police were called to another teenage stabbing in Croydon 
  • London has seen an 80-year record high of 30 teenage killings this year  

London’s teenage murder toll has hit a record high after a 16-year-old boy was stabbed to death in Hillingdon. 

The death of the teenager, who hasn’t yet been named, marks the 30th in the capital’s stabbing homicides this year. 

It comes as experts have warned that disagreements between teenagers are exacerbated when played out online, and that the amount of violent content has helped normalise aggression. 

Police were called at 7.34pm yesterday to reports of an injured male at the Philpotts Farm Open Space close to Heather Lane in Yiewsley.

Officers attended and found the boy suffering from a stab 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. 

Police tape is seen at Ashburton Park in Croydon, south London, where London’s 29th stabbing victim was killed last night 

A police van is seen at the scene of the 29th teenage killing in London at Ashburton Park last night 

Detectives from the Specialist Crime Command are investigating. There have been no arrests and enquiries continue.  

And just minutes earlier a 15-year-old boy, who has not yet been formally identified, was stabbed to death during an assault in Ashburton Park in Croydon. 

Police officers gave first aid to the boy before the ambulance service arrived but he was pronounced dead at 7.36pm. 

No arrests have been made and a crime scene remains in place as enquiries continue.

Their deaths took the number of teenagers murdered in the capital this year to 30, the highest number since World War Two. The previous highest toll was 29 in 2008.   

Junior Smart, founder of the St Giles Trust SOS Project that helps divert young people from crime, said technology giants should be asked to invest profits into areas blighted by violence.

A 15-year-old boy, who has not yet been formally identified, was stabbed to death during an assault in Ashburton Park in Croydon (pictured, officers at the scene)

A police evidence tent was set up in the area of Ashburton Park after the stabbing of a 15-year-old boy 

He said: ‘Violence has been normalised, especially over the last 10 years through social media.

‘It’s a crazy situation here where if a person goes to a live event and starts livestreaming music they will be silenced and perhaps have a sanction, whereas someone can be online posting violence and use the p word or the n word or a load of expletives and nothing actually happens.

‘The reality is that social media platforms have got a lot to answer for. In practically every situation where we’ve seen violence happen there has been some sort of connection with an online platform in some form.

‘Why are these social media platforms not being held to account? Why are we so scared of asking really difficult questions and why are these social media platforms not putting more money back in the communities that are being affected by violence?’ 

Police officers gave first aid to the boy before the ambulance service arrived but he was pronounced dead at 7.36pm. Pictured: The aftermath of the stabbing 

Jon Yates, executive director of the Youth Endowment Fund (YEF), said there are three factors behind the rise in violence: an increase in the number of children who are vulnerable, for example in care or excluded from school; increased pressure on services such as policing, mental health and youth work; and social media fuelling conflict. 

He added: ‘We don’t fully know the impact of social media. But any young people I talk to say that social media and the fact that something they say in passing becomes written down, causes what might have been nothing to become something.’  

‘This is not a one-off, one year problem,’ Mr Yates said. 

‘The actual number of young people who die tends to vary but the number who are being seriously injured has been going up for a number of years, right back from 2013. In many cases the difference between a serious injury and a fatality is millimetres. 

Pictured: Discarded paramedic equipment lies on the ground at Ashburton Park in Croydon 

‘If we’re serious about making a difference the solution is obvious. We’ve got to find out what works best, and then we’ve got to execute it.’ 

Domestic abuse has long been recognised as an aggravating factor in young people becoming involved in violence in later life, and new research suggests it may also be linked to extremism or terrorism. Mr Yates said: ‘For most young people in this country violence isn’t at all normal, but there is a proportion whose lives are far too full of violence. 

‘Part of that is social media, but lots of it is their day to day lived experience, of having friends or friends of friends seriously injured. The most important thing we can do, particularly those of us who live relatively safe lives, is get much better informed about what works to make a difference. 

‘We know that for a child to witness domestic abuse is a risk factor, it makes them more likely to become involved in violence. ‘What we don’t know is what’s the best way to address that.’ 

Mr Smart, who was himself jailed for 12 years for a drugs crime and is now a youth work expert studying for a PhD, believes there needs to be a reduction in bureaucracy in agencies that help the young. 

‘I’ve gone into meetings and I’ve spoken to people round the table, great organisation, everybody trying their real hardest.

‘I’ve worked it out and I’ve said how long have you spent with the young person or the client since the last meeting? 

‘And we’ve been in the meeting longer than they’ve spent with the client. How does that make sense?’  

How many teenagers have been killed in London in 2021? 

There have been a total of 30 teenage killings in London in 2021.

This surpasses the 27 killings seen in 2017, which had been the highest in recent years.

This year’s total is higher than the 2008 record of 29 for a single year in London. 

This is a list of the 30 victims this year:

  • January 19: Anas Mezenner, 17, was found with stab wounds in West Green Road, Haringey, north London, shortly after 9pm. He was taken to hospital but died at 4.25am. The teenager had reportedly made an anti-knife crime video for a media studies course weeks before he died.
  • January 25: Romario Opia, 15, was found stabbed in Holland Walk, Islington, north London, at around 5.30pm. He was pronounced dead at the scene a short while later.
  • February 11: Hani Solomon, 18, from Wandsworth in south London, was killed during a fight between two groups of men shortly after 6.30pm in Ackmar Road, Fulham, west London. He was treated by police, paramedics and an air ambulance team but was pronounced dead at the scene less than an hour later.
  • February 18: Drekwon Patterson, 16, from Wembley, north-west London, was stabbed in Preston Road, Brent, shortly after 11.30pm. He was taken to hospital but died the following morning.
  • February 26: Ahmed Beker, 19, was stabbed in Paddington Green, west London, just after 9.10pm. He was treated by paramedics and an air ambulance team but died at the scene.
  • March 3: Tai Jordan O’Donnell, 19, from Croydon, south London, was stabbed a number of times in the legs at a house in Alpha Road just after 12.10pm. He was pronounced dead within minutes of emergency crews arriving at the scene.
  • March 6: Mazaza Owusu-Mensah, 18, died when he was stabbed in the chest during a fight in Edington Road, Abbey Wood, south-east London, at around 5.30pm.  
  • March 6: Ezra Okobia, 14, was fatally injured by fumes from a fire at his home in Russett Way, Lewisham, south-east London, shortly before 6am. He was taken to hospital but died four days later. His five-year-old brother Joseph Okobia and mother Victoria Amaning, 34, also died after inhaling fumes. Police believe Ms Amaning started the blaze.  

Pictured: Some of the teenagers killed in London this year. From top row, left to right: Anas Mezenner, 17, Hani Solomon, 18, Drekwon Patterson, 16, Tai Jordan O’Donnell, 19, Ahmed Beker , 19, Camron Smith, 16, and Damarie Omare Roye, 16. Second row, left to right: Mazaza Owusu-Mensah, 18, Hussain Chaudhry, 18, Levi Ernest-Morrison, 17, Fares Maatou, 14, Abubakkar Jah, 18, Tamim Ian Habimana, 15, Hazrat Wali, 18, and Rishmeet Singh, 16. Third row, left to right: Daniel Laskos, 16, Denardo Samuels-Brooks, 17, Jalan Woods-Bell, 15, Keane Flynn-Harling, 16, Kamran Khalid, 18, and Taylor Cox, 19

  • March 8: Nikolay Vandev, 19, was stabbed along with a second victim, aged 18, in Penshurst Road, Tottenham, north London, shortly before 2pm. Mr Vandev was pronounced dead at the scene, while the 18-year-old was taken to hospital and treated for non-life-threatening stab wounds.
  • March 17: Hussain Chaudhry, 18, was stabbed in Lea Bridge Road, Walthamstow, east London, at around 5.20pm. Police and an ambulance crew attended but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
  • April 10: Levi Ernest-Morrison, 17, was stabbed in Sydenham Road, Sydenham, south-east London at around 7.20pm.
  • April 23: Fares Maatou, 14, was stabbed in Barking Road, Newham, east London, just before 4pm. Emergency services tried to save him but he was pronounced dead just over half an hour later.
  • April 26: Abubakkar ‘Junior’ Jah, 18, was found in Coolfin Road, Newham, east London, at around 3.45pm having been shot and stabbed. He died at the scene.
  • May 7: Daniel Laskos, 16, was stabbed in Church Road, Harold Wood, east London, just after 6.40pm, during a fight. Ambulance and air ambulance teams tried to save him but he died at the scene.
  • June 8: Taylor Cox, 19, was shot in Hornsey Rise Gardens, Islington, north London, at around 4.25pm.
  • June 10: Denardo Samuels-Brooks, 17, was stabbed in Prentis Road, Streatham, south London, at around 4.15pm. He was taken to hospital but was pronounced dead less than an hour later.
  • June 11: Jalan Woods-Bell, 15, was stabbed in a fight at around 8.30am during the school run in Blyth Road, Hayes, west London.
  • June 25: Tashawn Watt, 19, was stabbed in Miall Walk, Sydenham, south-east London, just after 9.30pm. He was treated by an ambulance crew but died at the scene.
  • July 1: Camron Smith, 16, was stabbed in Bracken Avenue, Shrublands, Croydon, south London, at around 12.45am. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
  • July 5: Tamim Ian Habimana, 15, was stabbed in Woolwich, south-east London.
  • July 5: Keane Flynn-Harling, 16, from Lambeth, south London, was stabbed in Oval Place, south London, at around 11.45pm.
  • July 9: Damarie Omare Roye, 16, was stabbed in Bensham Manor Road, Thornton Heath, south London. He was taken to hospital but died two days later.
  • August 1: Stelios Averkiou, 16, was stabbed at a skate park in Lordship Recreation Ground, Tottenham, north London, at around 2.15pm. He died nine days later.
  • September 1: Alex Ajanaku, 18, was found in Beaumont Road, Leyton, east London, with shotgun wounds at around 1.30am. He was treated by police and paramedics but died at the scene.
  • October 12: Hazrat Wali, 18, was stabbed to death in a playing field in Craneford Way, Twickenham.
  • October 28: Kamran Khalid, 18, was stabbed to death in Harrow Road, Ilford.
  • November 18: Jermaine Cools, 14, suffered stab wounds and died after a fight in London Road in Croydon. A murder investigation was launched after the incident. 
  • November 24: The Met was called to Raleigh Road in Southall at just after 9pm after reports of a stabbing following a fight involving a group of people. Officers attended and found 16-year-old Rishmeet Singh suffering stab wounds. He died at the scene a short time later.
  • December 30: Police were called to Ashburton Park in Croydon, south London, shortly after 7pm but an unnamed 15-year-old boy was pronounced dead at the scene.
  • December 30: An unnamed 16-year-old boy was found with stab wounds by police at 7.34pm in Hillingdon, west London. Despite efforts from paramedics he was pronounced dead at the scene.

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