On April 19, days before he was due to start an apprenticeship in the construction industry, 19-year-old Jordan Wright was found in Blackheath by police with stab wounds in his chest.
The Catford teenager died later that night in hospital and there’s a £10,000 reward up for anyone who can help identify his attackers.
A few days later in another south London borough, 17-year-old Mahamad Hassan was found at 1.25am in a Battersea estate.
‘Little Mo’ had been repeatedly stabbed and was pronounced dead at a south London hospital later that night.
These tragic deaths of two teenagers are part of a wider trend of increased knife crime and serious youth violence in London.
With London Mayor Sadiq Khan admitting that they “must and will do more” to combat knife crime, and Met Police commissioner Cressida Dick saying that they would likely increase the number of stop-and-searches, it’s clear this is a problem politicians and police are trying to solve.
According to figures the Mayor of London Office for Policing and Crime, over 2,000 people under the age of 25 were injured in knife attacks in London in April, the highest figure in the past five years.
The number of victims in serious youth violence in general is also at the highest it has been in the past five years, with 7,450 young people seriously injured in London in April.
The figures make for depressing reading no matter which south London borough you care to look at.
Croydon’s figures have spiked in 2017, with over 400 young people the victim of serious violent crime every month this year.
Before then, the previous five years had never seen the figures rise above 400 people per month for the borough.
Greenwich has seen figures rise dramatically in the past few months as well, with the number of young people injured in knife crime injuries hitting a five year high last month.
The number of gang related offences in Greenwich was over 200 in March and April this year. For the five years prior to this, that number never even reached 100.
Even Kingston, the London borough with the lowest number of gang-related crimes, saw the highest number of young people injured in knife crimes last month, 24, than in the previous 5 years.
Met Police are trying to tackle the problem with their Operation Sceptre. Last week it completed its 8th phase as police carried out over 1000 weapon sweeps across London.
822 people were stopped and searched, with 300 knives being seized and 15 firearms located and confiscated.
Despite their efforts though, the number of knife-related crimes are still going up in the capital.
It’s not all gang-related violence either, as detective superintendent Sean Yates of Met Police points out.
He said: “Young people who carry knives are doing so for a variety of reasons which are not always gang-related, including status, criminality and self-protection.
“But the truth is that if you carry a knife, or you are with someone who does, you are more likely to be stabbed yourself.
“We target habitual knife carriers, undertake searches for weapons, talk to young people in schools, and engage with the public at large about the role we all have to play to prevent knife crime.
“However, the police cannot solve knife crime alone. We urge everybody to help us to fight knife crime.”
Speaking last Monday (May 8), Mayor Khan called on the whole of London to work together to combat the rise in knife crime.
He said: “Carrying knives will simply not be tolerated on London’s streets, and I am calling on everybody in London to work with the police to help root out this scourge
“Every life lost is an utter tragedy and my thoughts are with the families and friends of all those who have so needlessly lost their lives.
“I am working with the Metropolitan Police, young people, schools, families and community groups to do everything we can to keep Londoners safe.
“We are targeting those who carry weapons, placing officers in schools to educate young people about the dangers of carrying a knife, and working with retailers to explore what more can be done to reduce the underage sale of knives.
“We are also restoring real neighbourhood policing, with at least two dedicated ward officers in every single local neighbourhood by the end of this year.
“My message today is clear: if you carry a knife in London, we will catch you and arrest you.”