London’s bloodiest year in a decade will end tonight with more than 130 people murdered in the capital over the past 12 months.
Rising gun and knife crime has brought the total 2018 figure of homicides being investigated by Scotland Yard to 134 – the highest since 2008 when there were 154.
Police are battling against 180 violent gangs across London dragging children into crime, amid more than 70 deaths this year involving a knife, and a dozen with a gun.
Vijay Patel (left), 49, died on January 6 after being beaten in Mill Hill, while Hannah Leonard (right), 55, was stabbed in a flat in Camden a month later on February 8
Nikolai Glushkov (left), 68, died from compression to the neck in New Malden on March 13, while Tanesha Melbourne (right), 17, was shot on April 2 in a drive-by shooting in Tottenham
Rosina Coleman (left), 85, was found battered to death at her home in Romford on May 15, while Katerina Makunova (right), 17, was stabbed to death in Camberwell on July 12
Jordan Douherty (left), 15, was stabbed to death after a birthday party in Romford on June 23, and Joel Urhie (right), seven, died in an arson attack on his Deptford home on August 7
Guled Farah (left), 19, was sitting in a car in Walthamstow when he was attacked on September 22, while Ian Tomlin (right), 46, was killed in Battersea on October 17
Ayodeji Azeez (left), 22, was killed after suffering stab wounds on a street in Anerley on November 4, while Aron Warren (right), 18, was stabbed to death in Greenwich on December 8
This year will be the worst on record for the knife murders of young people – with 37 children and teenagers stabbed to death in Britain, including 24 in London.
Murders in London peaked in February when the rate rose past that of New York, with Scotland Yard looking at 15 suspicious deaths and the NYPD investigating 11.
The year of murders which was spread across the capital began on New Year’s Eve 2017, with four people stabbed to death either side of midnight.
And it concluded as 39 people were questioned on suspicion of attempted murder after a ‘minor argument’ in a shop ended in a man being chased down and stabbed in Hammersmith, West London, early this morning.
Although not confined to certain areas, the boroughs of Greenwich and Southwark registered the highest murder rate, with three people killed per 100,000 population.
The two bloodiest months, February and March, saw 16 and 21 people die – and the longest period without murder was just 16 days from September 25 until October 10.
According to Home Office figures, the number of police-recorded homicides in London, for both the Metropolitan and City of London forces, was 118 last year.
Similar murder figures of 111 and 122 were recorded in 2016 and 2015 respectively – with just 94 in 2014, which was the lowest rate in the capital since 1990.
This map shows where the murders across London have happened over the past year
The homicides recorded in London boroughs over the past 12 months show high murder levels in Greenwich and Southwark – along with Haringey (Press Association calculation as of Dec 15)
Offences involving knives are also on the way up, with more than 22,000 in the past year
Knife offences across England and Wales are rising too, with 40,000 recorded in the past year
In 2018 there were 72 deaths involving a knife, 13 involving a gun, one involving a knife and a gun and one a crossbow.
Knives seized at ports and airports doubles
The number of knives seized at UK ports and airports more than doubled in a year to almost 8,000, Government figures revealed last week
Border Force officials confiscated 7,668 bladed items in the 12 months to September, up from 3,800 the year before.
In the same period, there was also a 61 per cent increase in the number of other ‘offensive weapons’ seized, to 6,534 from 4,056.
The combined haul of prohibited knives and offensive weapons found by the agency was 14,202, compared with 7,856 in the year before.
Just over a third of victims, 44, were aged 16 to 24, of whom 10 were shot, 32 were stabbed and one was killed in an attack involving a knife and gun.
Earlier this month Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick insisted the tide was turning against knife and gun offences.
This came after September to November this year saw 176 fewer victims of knife crime with injury aged under 25 than in the same three months in 2017.
Scotland Yard has acknowledged the high numbers and said they are committed to tackling it, with special task forces in operation – but insist numbers are ‘stabilising’.
Mayor Sadiq Khan has been under fire over the rise but said keeping Londoners safe is his ‘number one priority’ despite Government cuts limiting what he can do.
In mid-November, the number of killings in London soared past the total in the whole of 2017, following a week of violence that brought the total to 121.
Police and forensic officers investigate after a murder in Queensbury, North London, in May
Forensics investigate at Turnpike Lane Tube station in North London after a stabbing in June
Police carry out fingertip searches in Hackney, East London, in April after a boy was stabbed
A woman holds flowers as people take part in an anti knife and gun rally in Hackney in April
Earlier this month, Prince Charles called for action to combat spiralling knife crime in Britain, declaring: ‘Enough is enough.’
How it’s not just London battling rise in murders
National figures show forces in England and Wales have also registered a jump in recorded homicides and offences involving a knife or sharp instrument.
Criminals using knives include ruthless county lines gangs which send young people out from large cities to smaller towns and villages to sell drugs.
Some police forces outside London have experienced increases in knife crime of 150 per cent, linked to the spread of county lines gangs.
One of the largest increases in blade-related incidents was in Hertfordshire – from 229 in 2014 to 573 in 2017. In West Mercia, it rose from 324 in 2015 to 470 in 2017.
He made the appeal with Prince Harry at a summit on youth violence at Clarence House.
Two in five murders in London have been linked to gang violence on streets increasingly resembling the Wild West.
Last month, it also emerged that the number of children being admitted to hospital with stab wounds has almost doubled in four years.
A total of 573 under-18s were taken to A&E with potentially life-threatening knife injuries last year. This was up 86 per cent from 308 in 2014 to 2015.
Around 50 who received treatment for wounds were aged ten to 14.
Ministers have announced a number of measures designed to combat the rise in violent crime.
A key plank of the crackdown is the Offensive Weapons Bill, which includes a proposed ban on delivering potentially dangerous bladed items to a buyer’s home following warnings that age-verification checks can be sidestepped online.
A Scotland Yard spokesman told MailOnline today: ‘The total number of homicides in 2018 in London currently stands at 134.
‘However, there are a number of these investigations that may be reclassified as not being homicides as our enquiries continue.’