Police were called to a spate of knife-related incidents across four boroughs on Thursday evening, with the number of stabbings in the capital having reached their highest rate since 2010/11.
Three teenagers were taken to hospital and one male was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder following an attack in Mile End shortly after 6pm, with two of the victims – both aged 15 – left in a serious but stable condition.
The other youth – a 16-year-old boy – was treated for minor injuries and then arrested for conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm.
Another male teenager was taken to hospital after being stabbed in Ealing Broadway at about 7.05pm, while the 13-year-old boy was attacked in Little Ilford Park a short time earlier.
His condition was described as serious but stable by officers, who arrested three young boys on suspicion of grievous bodily harm.
Earlier on Thursday, at about 5.30pm, a 15-year-old boy was found stabbed in East India Dock Road in Poplar.
In a sign of the pressure on detectives, Scotland Yard has enlisted the support of City of London police to help cope with the number of cases.
Thursday’s attacks came less than 24 hours after the latest in an increasingly long line of fatal knife attacks in London this year, which prompted protests to call for an end to gang violence.
Israel Ogunsola, 18, was stabbed in Hackney shortly before 8pm on Wednesday– becoming the 51st person identified by Sky News to have been suspected of being deliberately killed in the capital so far in 2018.
Mr Ogunsola was Facebook friends with one of those, Tanesha Melbourne, a 17-year-old who was shot in a drive-by shooting in Tottenham on Monday.
Just 30 minutes later, 16-year-old Amaan Shakoor was shot in the face in Walthamstow.
Protesters and community leaders gathered at Hackney Central station on Thursday, not far from where Mr Ogunsola died, with organisers Guiding A New Generation (GANG) using a communal microphone to plead for an end to the violence.
One of the group’s activists, known as Boogz, said: “We are trying to guide these children to let them know that their life is not going in the right direction.
“I want to say to them this is not the life.
“All the music that you listen to which glorifies this kind of thing, all the money that they see, all the cars that they see people driving, they are being sold a lie, they are being sold a false narrative – and we are here to change that narrative for them.”
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has continued to attack the Government in light of the rising rate of violence.
He has blamed “the level of cuts” made to policing in the city, claiming that £700m of funding had been lost from the police budget since 2011.
Meanwhile, Metropolitan Police chief Cressida Dick has pledged to use “Al Capone” tactics in a bid to curb the number of murders and knife attacks in the capital.
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She said a new task force of 120 officers would focus on the most violent gang members and individuals to take them off London’s streets “for any crime”.
US gangster Al Capone was jailed for tax evasion in the 1930s when traditional law enforcement methods failed.