LONDON, U.K. - In a bizarre night of crime, four young men were killed in a string of knife attacks, on the New Year’s Eve night.
The Scotland Yard confirmed the incidents and said that the four male victims were aged between 17 and 20 and died in separate stabbing incidents.
The Metropolitan police said that the knife attacks took place in the span of 15 hours in locations around the capital, in north, east and south London.
Three of the killings took place on New Year’s Eve and a fourth in the early hours of New Year’s Day and the Metropolitan police said that none were being treated as linked.
According to the police, the first attack was recorded at 11.30 am on December 31 when an 18-year-old man was stabbed in Enfield.
The victim died in the hospital the same evening.
Then, at about 7.30pm, a 20-year-old man was fatally stabbed in West Ham, and at around 10.40pm a 17-year-old boy was stabbed to death in Tulse Hill.
The fourth stabbing took place at around 2.30am on January 1, when a 20-year-old man was attacked in Old Street, east London.
A second male, aged in his 20s, was taken to hospital with critical stab injuries.
The Scotland Yard confirmed that the three deaths on Sunday brings the total number of fatal stabbings in 2017 to 80.
Commenting on the incidents, Commander Neil Jerome, of the Met’s territorial policing command, said, “It is heartbreaking that, at a time when so many of us are contemplating what lies ahead in 2018, four families are dealing with the grief of losing a loved one to senseless violence and the callous use of knives as lethal weapons.”
In Enfield, five men were arrested in connection with the murder and there have been no arrests in the other cases.
The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said he will “work tirelessly in 2018 and beyond to stamp out this scourge.”
Since he assumed office as mayor of London in May 2016, Khan has launched a high-profile “London needs you alive” campaign and knife crime strategy.
Commenting on the spate of attacks, Khan said, “My thoughts today are with the families of four young men who have tragically been killed in four unrelated stabbings in our city last night. The police have today assured me that everything is being done to bring to justice those responsible for these appalling acts of violence. I urge anyone with information to come forward.”
He added, “The police were out in force helping people enjoy our city’s fantastic celebrations last night, and I thank them. However, it is horrific that knife crime has claimed another four young lives as the New Year begins. We will work tirelessly in 2018 and beyond to stamp out this scourge. I want to be absolutely clear - if you use a knife the full force of the law will be brought down on you. You will be caught and prosecuted.”