Tragically, knife crime on London's streets, and particularly amongst young people, is not a new phenomenom.

And with the latest figures showing a staggering 12,074 cases of crimes of carrying a knife in 2016-17, as well as a 20% rise in injuries by knives, the problem is getting worse.

It's hard to comprehend that in the past two weeks alone, 11 people have died as a result of knife crime in our capital city. And many, many more have been injured this year.

In west London alone, has reported a string of fatal knife attacks in the area, which has seen teenagers and men lose their lives in Uxbridge, Harlesden, Marylebone and Northolt - all since April 11.

And shockingly, two of those men died within a day of each other, sparking murder investigations as cops probe what happened.

So what can be done? Sometimes, the community response is so positive it restores faith after a tragic incident. One such case is Yiewsley residents rallying around and donating to a Just Giving page for a 90-year-old woman who was attacked in her own home.

This is a wonderful show of community strength and spirit, but what are those in power doing to ensure that not only victims receive help, but knife crime is halted altogether? How many more lives will it take for voices to be heard?

Even the Metropolitan Police have voiced their concerns about the rise of knife crime offences committed by young people, and the changing nature of the offenders.

After announcing this year's worrying statistics, Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt, responsible for Territorial Policing, said: "Young people carrying knives are doing so for a variety of reasons including status, criminality and self-protection but only around a quarter are affiliated with gangs.

"Whilst we continue to focus on reducing stabbings by taking weapons and dangerous offenders off the streets, prevention and diversion from knife crime is key.

"There are complex social reasons why more young people are carrying knives and this cannot be solved by the police alone, we must work with communities to help combat knife crime."

Worrying: This collection of knives was bought by children under 18 during a police op in Heston and Cranford

Collectively, the police, policy makers, and communities need to work together to ensure those heading for trouble do not slip through the net, and victims are supported.

Many lament the closure of local police stations, which offered a closer watchful eye on communities, whilst others say more stop and search by officers is needed.

'Not enough for kids to do'

Kevin Bugler, administrator of Hillingdon Community Group, is among those in the borough organising a meeting to come up with an action plan, in light of an unusual spike of such crime in the area.

He said: "Kids have very little in the way of activities, clubs and events suitable to keep them occupied and enjoy being kids.

"Instead nowadays, we seem to be rushing them to grow up and the only clubs as such seems to be night clubs where legal or not some drink and maybe fight and one thing leads to another."

In the mean time, police are planning knife amnesties across west London, and will be raising awareness with our anti-knife campaign in the coming weeks.

If you'd like to find out what the Safer Neighbourhood Team are doing in your area to fight crime, visit their website.

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