Shocking figures today reveal the scale of the youth knife crisis after another weekend of carnage on Britain’s blood-soaked streets.
The families of two more murdered teenagers – a Girl Scout once invited to Downing Street and a pupil at a top private school – were in mourning last night.
New statistics show the number of under-16s treated in hospital for stab wounds has nearly doubled in five years.
Doctors are battling to save three children a day on average as knife crime rates soar to the highest level since the Second World War.
New statistics show that knife crime has soared to its highest level since the Second World War
Jodie Chesney, 17, (left and right) was stabbed to death on Friday night in Romford, East London
As a former police chief branded the epidemic of stabbings a ‘national crisis’, the figures revealed:
- A total of 347 under-16s were taken to A&E with stab wounds last year, up from 180 in 2012-13
- The number of child knife killers has risen by 77 per cent in two years
- Knife-point robberies by teenagers have leapt by more than 50 per cent in the same period, and the number of teens carrying out knife-point rapes has surged by a third
- It came after Jodie Chesney, 17, was stabbed in the back as she sat on a park bench with her boyfriend in Romford, east London, on Friday night
Flowers were laid in memory of Ms Chesney in the London suburb of Harold Hill near Romford
Yesterday her distraught mother laid flowers at the scene as relatives said they were struggling to come to terms with a ‘random and unprovoked’ attack on a ‘beautiful, lovely and quirky young girl with her whole life in front of her’.
In another horrific attack, Manchester Grammar School pupil Yousef Makki, also 17, was stabbed to death in the Cheshire village of Hale Barns on Saturday. Police were quizzing two 17-year-old private school pupils yesterday.
Yousef Makki, 17, also died from stab wounds on Saturday night. Two private school pupils are being questioned in relation to the incident
The murders follow the fatal stabbings of three teenagers in a fortnight in Birmingham, which led to West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson declaring a ‘national emergency’.
Last night Home Secretary Sajid Javid promised to meet chief constables this week as he came under intense pressure to end the bloodshed.
Former Scotland Yard Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe accused ministers of failing to get to grips with a ‘national crisis’ and of leaving police ‘in the Dark Ages’.
An investigation by Channel 4 Dispatches into Wild West Britain, to be broadcast tonight, looked at hospital and police data to uncover the shocking rise in children being caught up in knife crime.
NHS data shows that 1,029 teenagers aged 19 or under were treated for assaults with knives or other sharp objects across England and Wales last year – up from 55 per cent from five years ago.
More than two-thirds of the knife-related injuries were treated in hospitals outside London, the NHS Digital figures show. It follows Office of National Statistics data showing there is almost twice as much knife crime outside of London compared to in the capital.
Separate police data obtained by the programme under Freedom of Information laws demonstrates that the number of teenage perpetrators of crimes involving blades has also risen.
Bright Akinlele, 22, (left) was stabbed to death in Euston two weeks ago. Glendon Spence, 23, (right) was also stabbed to death two weeks ago
The number of knife killers under the age of 18 leapt by 77 per cent between 2016 and 2018, from 26 offenders to 46.
A breakdown of age-related data from 21 police forces shows that the proportion of youths committing knife-point robberies has increased by 50 per cent, from 656 offences in 2016 to 999 in 2018. In the same period, the number of teenage rapes and sexual assaults using a knife increased from 24 to 33.
Nedim Bilgin, 17, was knifed to death in Islington in January
Lord Hogan-Howe told Dispatches: ‘I have to admit to being shocked by the huge rise in the number of young people being stabbed.
‘It’s incredibly worrying and something we should all be concerned about… This is clearly a national crisis.’
The retired top officer called for an extra 20,000 police officers to flood socially deprived areas, saying: ‘We need to increase police numbers in these places and reduce the drug supply into the UK and its distribution, including by county lines.
‘Our technology is in the Dark Ages. What we need is great facial recognition and behavioural science software that helps officers to find who and when to search.’
Lord Hogan-Howe added: ‘I just don’t see anybody getting a grip of this crisis. The Government needs to appoint somebody who is going to lead it day after day.
‘Call it a knife crime tsar if you like but somebody who is going to make sure we get knives off the street and save lives.’
Policing minister Nick Hurd said: ‘One of the big challenges underpinning is the reality that for too many young people, particularly in our big cities, carrying a knife now feels normal.’
Mr Javid added: ‘Young people are being murdered across the country and it can’t go on.
‘We’re taking action on many fronts and I’ll be meeting police chiefs this week to hear what more can be done. It is vital that we unite to stop this senseless violence.’
Britain’s Knife Crisis: Young, Armed and Dangerous, tonight at 8pm, Channel 4.
The full list of 20 murders in London so far this year – including five in just the last week
Here is a list of of the 20 murders in London so far in 2019:
- January 1: Charlotte Huggins, 33, is believed to have been the first homicide victim in London in 2019. She was stabbed in Camberwell, south-east London, in the early hours of New Year’s Day.
- January 1: Later that day, security guard Tudor Simionov, also 33, was stabbed to death at about 5.30am as he tried to prevent gatecrashers storming a private party in Park Lane, central London.
- January 4: Simbiso Aretha Moula, 39, was found murdered in her home in Rainham, east London. Her husband, Garikayi Moula, was found hanged. Police were not seeking anyone else in connection with the murder.
- January 5: Sarah Ashraf, 35, was found dead in a home in the Isle of Dogs, east London. A 32-year-old man was charged with murder.
- January 8: Just 14 years old, Jaden Moodie was knocked off a moped and stabbed to death in Leyton, east London.
- January 11: Asma Begum, 31, was found with a neck injury in a property City Island Way, Tower Hamlets. A 46-year-old man was charged with murder.
- January 27: Kamil Malysz, 34, was found stabbed to death in a shared house in Acton, west London.
- January 29: Nedim Bilgin, 17, was the victim of a knife attack in Caledonian Road, Islington, north London.
- February 3: A 46-year-old man was found dead at a medical facility in Highgate, north London. A 21-year-old was charged with murder.
- February 5: Lejean Richards, 19, was fatally stabbed in Battersea, south-west London.
- February 10: A man, believed to be in his 30s, was found fatally stabbed in East Dulwich, south-east London.
- February 18: Bright Akinleye dies after walking into a hotel reception in Camden, north London, with stab wounds.
- February 19: Brian Wieland, 69, found dead with multiple head injuries at his home in Chingford, east London.
- February 21: Glendon Spence, 23, was killed outside a youth club in Brixton, south London. Police have charged two 17-year-olds with murder.
- February 22: Kamali Gabbidon-Lynck, 19, was murdered in Wood Green, Haringey. Police said that he and a another man, aged 20, were both found with stab wounds.
- February 25: Spaniard David Lopez-Fernandez, 38, was pronounced dead after being found with stab wounds at an address in Globe Road in Tower Hamlets, east London. A 36-year-old man was charged with murder.
- February 26: Che Morrison, 20, died after being stabbed to death outside Ilford station in east London.
- March 1: Jodie Chesney, 17, was stabbed to death in an east London park.
- March 2: A 50-year-old was found dead with fatal knife injuries at a property in Hendon, north-west London. A 54-year-old man was arrested at the scene on suspicion murder.
- March 2: A baby girl, aged three months, was found dead at a residential address in Croydon. A 40-year-old woman has been charged with murder.
Boy, 17, stabbed to death in a wealthy village was an ‘A* student’ at £12,000-a-year school who wanted to be a heart surgeon
- Yousef Makki, 17, was stabbed to death on Saturday night in Greater Manchester
- He was a pupil at Manchester Grammar School and wanted to be a heart surgeon
- Two 17-year-old Manchester boys have been arrested on suspicion of murder
- Police said there was no evidence the stabbing had any links to gang activities
By RICHARD MARSDEN FOR THE DAILY MAIL
Yousef Makki, 17, died of stab wounds on Saturday night. He wanted to be a heart surgeon
A schoolboy stabbed to death in a wealthy Cheshire village was an ‘A* student’ who wanted to be a heart surgeon.
Yousef Makki, 17, was a sixth-form pupil at the elite Manchester Grammar School, where alumni include former England cricket captain Mike Atherton.
Yousef is thought to have received a scholarship to attend the school, where fees are in excess of £12,000 a year.
Two 17-year-old boys have been arrested on suspicion of murder. They are both also pupils at prestigious schools in the North West.
Yousef was stabbed at 6.40pm on Saturday in a quiet, tree-lined residential street in Hale Barns, a village known for its well-heeled residents. Those with homes nearby include a string of sports stars and classical singer Russell Watson.
By contrast, Yousef lived in a modest mid-terrace former council house about ten miles away in Burnage, Manchester. His mother is English, while his father is believed to be from Lebanon.
Forensic work continued at the murder scene yesterday.
One resident said of the scene on Saturday night: ‘It was like Blackpool Illuminations with all the lights. The boy was leaning against a tree outside. By the time we came out to the drive the police were there. They told us to get back inside and in the end we weren’t allowed to leave until about 9pm.
Two forensic tents and emergency services at the scene of the crime on Sunday morning
‘The police response was excellent – I can’t fault that. Staff from two private security firms were also out here so I presume they had been alerted to something going on. Lots of the houses here have CCTV.
‘There have been a couple of bad break-ins round here so people will have been on the lookout, but this is not what you expect.’
Yousef was taken to hospital after the attack, but died soon afterwards.
A neighbour said yesterday: ‘He was a lovely lad, a dedicated A* student who wanted to be a heart surgeon.
‘He didn’t have a bad bone in his body. I think he was in Hale Barns because he has friends there. They are a beautiful family … it’s very sad. Everyone here is devastated.’
Police said there was no evidence the attack was linked to organised crime or gang activity
The neighbour, who did not wish to be named, added: ‘I used to see him every morning checking his hair before he went [to school]. He could have been someone.
‘It’s just a shame for a young lad with so much potential to have his life taken so young.’ Police said there was no evidence the attack was linked to organised crime or gangs. There was, however, speculation in Hale Barns that it was linked to a row over drugs.
Detective Superintendent Phil Reade, head of the Greater Manchester Police major incident team, called the case ‘incredibly tragic’.
Police seized two mountain bikes on Sunday morning close to the scene of Yousef’s stabbing
‘Yousef’s family has understandably been left devastated by his death and the thoughts of the entire team remain with them at this difficult time,’ he said.
‘Detectives have been working throughout the night trying to establish exactly what happened. The investigation is in its very early stages and we continue to remain open-minded about why Yousef was attacked.’
A string of tributes to the schoolboy were posted online. Tanya Daly wrote: ‘RIP Yousef Makki, what a lovely young man from a loving family.
A gofundme page was set up to contribute to Yousef’s funeral. It is aiming to raise £15,000
‘My love and thoughts go out to them.’
Ayla Oglu added: ‘He was such a good lad, very clever and caring. He could have gone to the best universities, why did it have to end like that? Absolutely gutted.’
Yousef’s family were too upset to comment last night.