Throughout the month of February, we’re telling the story of the 21 teenagers who were murdered in 2023. Our campaign, The 21, seeks to remember every victim as a young person with a family and their whole life ahead of them. We want to change the culture of kids carrying knives and becoming involved in violence.

Last year, the lives of 21 teenagers were claimed as a result of violent crime, with Harry Pitman’s death marking the last as he was stabbed to death 20 minutes before midnight on New Year's Eve.

Data has revealed that London had the highest number of knife offences nationally in 2023.

Statistics from the Metropolitan Police revealed that in London there was a total of 67 knife-related homicides across all ages recorded in the 12 months leading up to June 2023, which was the highest number recorded in the UK.

Knives and sharp implements were the leading cause of homicide in London in the same period, according to figures provided by the force, followed by shooting and blunt implements.

In the year to March 2023, the Metropolitan Police recorded 12,755 knife related incidents, which accounted for 25 percent of the national total.

Separate data recorded by the force recorded 2,531 knife crime offences involving injury in January to August 2023, which was an increase from 2,346 in the same period in 2022, but below the 2,758 in January to August 2019.

London was also ranked as the county with the highest number of serious offences involving a knife in 2023.

According to data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), the Metropolitan Police recorded 13,503 cases, out of a national total of 48,856.

Crime rates in London boroughs

Between 2022 and 2023 there were 13,323 recorded knife related incidents in London, according to data from the Metropolitan Police.

In south London, the boroughs with the highest number of knife-related incidents for that period were Southwark with 737 recorded incidents, Lambeth with 735 incidents and Croydon with 681 incidents.

In East London, Newham had the highest number of recorded incidents during this period with 642 incidents, followed by Tower Hamlets with 547 and Hackney with 546 incidents.

In North London, Haringey had the highest number of knife crime incidents recorded between 2022 and 2023, with 632 incidents, followed by Enfield with 599 incidents and Barnet with 399 incidents.

In West London, the three boroughs with the highest number of knife related incidents in the same period were Brent with 533 recorded incidents, Ealing with 436 recorded incidents and Hounslow with 324 recorded incidents.

In the 12 months leading up to March 2023, 19,083 offenders in England were given disposals for possession of offensive weapons, 18 percent of whom were juveniles aged 10 to 17.

Previous surveys conducted by the Crime Survey of England and Wales (CSEW) revealed that 6.5 percent of 10 to 15-year-olds knew someone who carried a knife and 5.7 percent of 16 to 29-year-olds knew someone who carried a knife.

Government research has also showed that hospital admissions for knife related injuries has remained at a consistent level for the past two years.

Between 2022 and 2023, hospitals in England recorded a total of 175 admissions of youths under the age of 16 and 471 for youths between 16-18 as a result of injuries caused by sharp objects.

This remained consistent with numbers recorded between 2021 and 2022, where hospitals recorded 175 admissions for under 16s and 480 for youths between the ages of 16 and 18.