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Young victims of violent crime have risen to the highest levels in five years across south London boroughs.

Figures from the Mayor of London’s gang crime and serious youth violence dashboard website show that there is an increasing trend in youth victims of knife crime in the past 12 months.

People under the age of 25 injured in knife crimes have continuously risen over the past year, with 453 young people injured in knife attacks this April.

READ MORE: ‘We must and will do more’ – Latest figures show the tragic increase in knife crimes in London

Gang crimes in south London rose by almost 50 per cent in the space of one month, from February to March, primarily in the borough of Greenwich.

Croydon has the highest numbers of serious youth violence in the entirety of London, with 455 injured in April, and that number has been rising steadily in the past few months.

The Met Police is trying to tackle the problem with their Operation Sceptre. Last week it completed its 8th phase as police carried out over 1,000 weapon sweeps across London.

The figures for south London boroughs are:

Lewisham:

  • Victims of serious youth violence: April 2017: 284 - April 2016: 222
  • Gang offences: April 2017: 37 – April 2016: 45
  • Injuries in knife crime: April 2017: 87 – April 2016: 70

Youth violence in on a serious rise in Lewisham. While the number of gang offences are going down (although it should be stressed that police don’t always know when a crime is committed due to gang violence and investigations will be ongoing), it’s clear that more young people in Lewisham are being hurt in these serious attacks.

Greenwich:

  • Victims of serious youth violence: April 2017: 254 - April 2016: 211
  • Gang offences: April 2017: 206 – April 2016: 85
  • Injuries in knife crime: April 2017: 72 – April 2016: 65

Greenwich has possibly the grimmest figures of every borough. Most noticeably they are the main reason why gang violence in south London has gone up, increasing by over 100 per cent in the space of a year. Gang numbers are actually down for London as a whole but for the people of Greenwich, this paints a grim picture.

Bexley:

  • Victims of serious youth violence: April 2017: 384 - April 2016: 222
  • Gang offences: April 2017: n/a – April 2016: n/a
  • Injuries in knife crime: April 2017: 18 – April 2016: 15

While there are no figures available for the number of gang-related attacks in the borough (as there are for a few of the other boroughs), it’s safe to say that an increasing number of young people are being injured in serious attacks. It’s not even in knife attacks, as those numbers are comparatively low compared to other boroughs.

Bromley:

  • Victims of serious youth violence: April 2017: 252 - April 2016: 218
  • Gang offences: April 2017: 16 – April 2016: 27
  • Injuries in knife crime: April 2017: 41 – April 2016: 23

Bromley has the second highest population of south London boroughs, so take that into consideration when reading these figures. However that will be of little respite to the people in the borough when they see how much the figures are increasing.

Croydon:

  • Victims of serious youth violence: April 2017: 455 - April 2016: 334
  • Gang offences: April 2017: 34 – April 2016: 40
  • Injuries in knife crime: April 2017: 105 – April 2016: 66

Croydon is the largest south London borough, but with that, these numbers are very high. Over 100 people under the age of 25 injured in knife attacks in the space of one month demonstrates why even London mayor Sadiq Khan has been speaking out about knife crime in the capital.

Sutton:

  • Victims of serious youth violence: April 2017: 114 - April 2016: 101
  • Gang offences: April 2017: n/a – April 2016: n/a
  • Injuries in knife crime: April 2017: 23 – April 2016: 17

There’s a fairly clear east-west London divide when it comes to young victims of violent crime. The further west you go, the less attacks you see, and the less of a noticeable rise apparent. The number of violent attacks against young people in Sutton is still rising though, even if it is by a comparatively lower percentage.

Merton:

  • Victims of serious youth violence: April 2017: 111 - April 2016: 100
  • Gang offences: April 2017: 10 – April 2016: 14
  • Injuries in knife crime: April 2017: 26 – April 2016: 30

Merton’s figures have remained relatively stable over the past five years, with a slight increase since this time last year, mostly as part in natural fluctuations between the months. Compared to the near 50 per cent increases in some other London boroughs, no change is a relief.

Wandsworth:

  • Victims of serious youth violence: April 2017: 170 - April 2016: 183
  • Gang offences: April 2017: 33 – April 2016: 45
  • Injuries in knife crime: April 2017: 42 – April 2016: 46

Although there was a spate of stabbings in April in Wandsworth, including the fatal stabbing of 17-year-old ‘Little Mo’ Mahamad Hassan, the numbers for Wandsworth are one of the few that are on a noticeable downward trend.

Kingston:

  • Victims of serious youth violence: April 2017: 80 - April 2016: 66
  • Gang offences: April 2017: n/a – April 2016: n/a
  • Injuries in knife crime: April 2017: 24 – May 2016: 10

Kingston is one of the most peaceful boroughs with the lowest levels of youth crime, so none of these figures should be that alarming. That said, when the number of young people injured in knife crimes more than doubles in the space of a year, it’s hard not to be worried about the overall trend of increased knife crime in London.

Richmond:

  • Victims of serious youth violence: April 2017: 83 - April 2016: 99
  • Gang offences: April 2017: n/a – April 2016: n/a
  • Injuries in knife crime: April 2017: 15 – May 2016: 10

Figures are dropping, crime is low in general. While it’s worth remembering the population in Richmond is much lower than that of Croydon or Bromley, it’s still one of the safest boroughs in south London.