Four people were stabbed to death within a few miles of each other in London on Thursday. Among them was a 19-year-old, the 20th teenager murdered in the capital this year. A fifth man was in a critical condition after he was stabbed in the back and stomach during what was believed to be a domestic attack.
Gordon Brown promised new measures to tackle knife crime last night, announcing that the Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, would set out the latest plans on Monday.
Next week, the Government will publish the first cross-government youth crime plan with new enforcement measures and changes to sentencing guidelines. It will also include crime prevention measures, such as "tough parenting" programmes targeted on specific areas.
Assistant Commissioner Tim Godwin of the Metropolitan Police said only a tiny proportion of young people were carrying weapons. In a recent operation to deal with knife crime, he said, 730 weapons had been found in 32,000 searches. "Our evidence indicates it is about two in 100 young people that we need to sort out. I am convinced that London, together with the police and other agencies, will get to them," he said.
Officers found the first victim, Javengis Jaronis, 42, a Latvian, with head injuries and slash wounds behind a derelict pub in Tottenham High Road at 4am on Thursday. Two men and a woman were arrested nearby.
The second of the four fatal stabbings happened at 2.30pm. Police were called to reports of a fight at a bedsit in Gloucester Road, Edmonton, north London. They found a 19-year-old victim with multiple stab wounds, who died later at North Middlesex Hospital. A 26-year-old woman and 34-year-old man were arrested.
Three hours later, police were called to Downsell Road in Leyton, east London, where they found Adnan Patel, 20, fatally injured. He had been stabbed in a confrontation with a gang of men and crashed his black Ford Focus as he tried to escape. Paramedics were called as passers-by tried to stem the bleeding but Mr Patel died at the scene. Four men were arrested.
In a statement released yesterday, Mr Patel's family said: "We have lost a loved one and at this time we ask that you pray for him so that he may rest in peace and that the family are given courage and strength during this difficult period. We do not want anyone else having to experience the pain and sorrow we are going through."
The fourth killing happened at St David's Court, Walthamstow, north-east London, at 8.30pm. Police think the victim, in his twenties, was stabbed in the head and chest as he walked up a stairwell to a friend's flat. A blood-soaked man in his late teens or early twenties was seen fleeing the scene wearing a white mask and hooded top.
Police charged a woman last night with the murder of another woman who was stabbed in south London on 1 July. Sarah Anderson, 25, of Peckham, fatally attacked Dee Willis, 28, outside a Lidl supermarket.
In Bolton last night, Greater Manchester Police said a male teenager was in serious condition after being stabbe. In Merseyside, police said a woman named as Joanne De Asha, 45, had died of stab wounds after a suspected domestic incident. A 49-year-old man was arrested.
In the West Midlands, police were questioning a man and a woman about the murder of 20-year-old Thomas Duffield in West Bromwich, and Nottinghamshire Police named a 25-year-old stabbed to death outside a house in Bulwell on Wednesday as Mark Beard.
Lancashire Constabulary said a 57-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of murder after a woman was found with fatal stab wounds inside a blazing house in Tarleton early yesterday morning.