London: More teenagers killed in 2023 than 2022

Posted: 12th January 2024

More teenage homicides were recorded in London last year than in 2022 after 21 teenagers were killed.

Of those who died, 18 teenagers were stabbed, two were shot and one was killed after his moped was hit by a car.

The number is up on 2022, when 14 teenage homicides were recorded, but lower than the peak of 30 in 2021.

It follows the death of 16-year-old Harry Pitman, who became the last teenage homicide victim in 2023.

He was stabbed and killed on New Year’s Eve in Primrose Hill, Camden, as he visited the park with friends to see in the new year watching the capital’s fireworks.

In Croydon, the fatal stabbing of Elianne Andam shocked the community after the 15-year-old girl was stabbed on her way to school on 27 September.

It prompted mass mourning and teenage girls taking part in a BBC London knife crime discussion said they felt “more vulnerable on the streets” afterwards.

Cmdr Owain Richards from the Metropolitan Police said the force was “working hard to prevent violent crime”.

Knife crime has risen each year since the pandemic, with 13,503 incidents incidents recorded in the capital between July 2022 and June 2023, a 21% increase on the previous 12-month period.

However levels remain 8% lower than before the pandemic, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

In November, the Royal London Hospital told BBC London staff were saving “twice the number” of stabbing victims they used to save.

“Hospitals are dealing with hundreds and hundreds of knife victims every year,” BBC London health correspondent Karl Mercer said.

Tilisha Goupall watched her 15-year-old brother Jermaine die on the pavement in front of her after he was stabbed in 2017.

Since his death she has worked to try to prevent similar tragedies.

“Anyone can be a victim of knife crime,” she told BBC London during a knife crime youth discussion last year.

“It’s become so normal in our society now to hear about kids dying.

“It’s across London, it’s not segregated to anywhere in London.”

The issue is regularly discussed by the Mayor of London, and could become a key issue of debate during this year’s mayoral elections.

Sadiq Khan set up the capital’s Violence Reduction Unit (VRU), which started operating in 2019.

It sets out to treat violence as a public health issue.

Lib Peck, director of London’s VRU, previously told BBC London that it was an issue of “prevention”.

“If we’re serious about looking how to prevent violence, which I think is absolutely entirely possible, we’ve got to centre it around the experience of young people,” she said.

Cmdr Richards said the Met Police worked closely with the VRU, local authorities, schools and community youth groups to tackle violence among young people.

“Our thoughts are with the loved ones of those who have tragically lost their lives this year,” he said.

“We continue to dedicate a large amount of resources to tackle serious violence, including increasing visible police patrols in communities impacted by violence, and weapon sweeps in hotspots to help reduce crime and help Londoners feel safe.”

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London’s 2023 teenage homicide victims:

  • 10 April: Chima Osuji, 17, was fatally stabbed after being chased by an attacker in Chingford, east London
  • 13 April: Tyler McDermott, 17, died after being found with a gunshot wound in Tottenham, north London
  • 5 May: Wazabakana Elenda Jordan Kukabu, known as Jordan, 18, from Romford, Essex, was stabbed to death near Dagenham Heathway Underground station in east London
  • 5 May: Renell Charles, 16, a pupil at Kelmscott School in Walthamstow, north-east London, was ambushed and fatally stabbed in the chest near his school
  • 19 June: Khaled Saleh, 17, was found with stab wounds in Paddington Green, central London
  • 26 June: Victor Lee, 17, from Ealing, west London, was found stabbed in a canal under Scrubs Lane, near Willesden Junction
  • 29 June: Leonardo Reid, 15, was stabbed during a music video shoot in Elthorne Road, Archway, north London
  • 3 July: Andre Salmon, 18, was riding a moped when he was shot in the chest in Stamford Road, Tottenham, north London
  • 9 July: Rahaan Ahmed Amin, 16, was stabbed in the heart in West Ham Park in Newham, east London
  • 14 July: Claudyo Jauad Lafayette, 17, was stabbed in a fight in the street following a birthday party in Granville Road, Kilburn, north-west London
  • 28 July: Stefan Valentine Balaban, 19, was stabbed in Whitchurch Lane, Edgware, north London
  • 7 August: Yusuf Mohamoud, 18, was found with fatal knife injuries near a supermarket in Regent’s Park Road, Finchley, north London
  • 4 September: Anis Omar Zen, 19, was fatally stabbed in Masefield Avenue in Stanmore, north London
  • 20 September: Max Moy Wheatley, 19, was stabbed in Jubilee Country Park close to Tent Peg Lane in Petts Wood, south-east London
  • 27 September: Elianne Andam, 15, was stabbed on her way to school in Croydon, south London
  • 1 October: Taye Faik, 16, died after he was stabbed near his home in Kendal Gardens, Edmonton, north London.
  • 9 October: Tafari Thompson-Mintah, 16, was killed when a car hit his moped in Sevenoaks Way, Orpington, south-east London
  • 29 October: Mehak Sharma, 19, was fatally stabbed in Ash Tree Way, Croydon, south London, weeks after moving from India to the UK to become a carer
  • 15 November: Simarjeet Singh Nangpal, 17, was stabbed to death in Burket Close, Hounslow, west London, after police were called to reports of a fight
  • 5 December: Ilyas Habibi, 17, was stabbed in Sutton High Street, south London, shortly after getting off a train on his way home from college
  • 31 December: Harry Pitman, 16, was stabbed in Primrose Hill, Camden, north London, after going to watch New Year fireworks with a group of friends

Source: London: More teenagers killed in 2023 than 2022 – BBC News

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