A boy aged 14 has become the 19th teenager to be killed in London this year. David Idowu, of Southwark, died in hospital yesterday, three weeks after he was knifed during a row with a group of youths in Tabard Street, Borough.
David was stabbed in the chest and stomach. A boy aged 16 from Catford, south-east London, appeared in court last month charged with attempted murder.
The spate of stabbings in the capital prompted police to declare last week that tackling knife crime was now their top priority. And yesterday, the Justice Secretary, Jack Straw, said new sentencing guidelines may have to be reviewed almost as soon as they come into force on 4 August.
David Cameron, the Tory leader, also expressed his concern, promising that under a Conservative government, anyone caught with a blade without a reasonable explanation could expect to be jailed. "Carrying a knife on our streets is completely inexcusable and unacceptable in a civilised society," he added.
A murder inquiry has begun in east London after a man in his 20s was found with stab wounds at a house in Bethnal Green. He was taken to hospital early on Sunday but died an hour later. Another man hurt in the incident is being questioned.