Two teenagers were been killed in London last night, meaning that London has now had 30 teenage homicides in 2021 – the highest year on record.
A 16-year-old in west London and a 15-year-old in south London were murdered within the space of an hour Thursday evening.
The number of homicides in the capital has passed the previous record number in 2008, when 29 teenagers were killed.
The Metropolitan Police said it was too early to say whether the two incidents Thursday evening were linked, having occurred more than 20 miles apart.
Police were called to Ashburton Park in Croydon, south London, where they gave first aid to the 15-year-old before the ambulance service arrived. He was pronounced dead at 7.36PM.
Less than an hour later, a 16-year-old suffering from a “puncture wound” was pronounced dead at Philpotts Farm Open Space in Yiewsley, west London.
Met Police Commander Alex Murray said: “I am deeply saddened by every single homicide this year, and greatly concerned by those that have been teenage killings. Each one is a tragedy leaving behind heartbroken families and distressed communities.
“My thoughts are with the victims and all those impacted. They are not statistics, not just numbers, they all have families, and they all should have had their lives ahead of them.”
He added: “They and their families have been robbed of something precious and we should all be doing everything we can to stop this.”
Earlier this year, VICE World News reported on the role that social media and state negligence have played in an epidemic of teenage street violence in Britain.
“A culture of violence is spreading among young people,” urban youth criminologist Craig Pinkney said at the time.
“We need a 10-15-year plan that everyone agrees to. We need to have a collective conversation, with government officials and youth experts, about what that looks like. But if it's not the priority, if the bloodshed of children is not the priority of everyone, sadly we are going to see another year of violence and have the same conversation next year and year after that.”