Four teenagers have been stabbed to death in less than a week in England, with three losing their lives within a day.
Three males - aged 15, 18, and 19 - were murdered with knives in separate incidents on Tuesday. Two were killed in south London and one in Manchester. Their deaths came six days after a 16-year-old died of stab wounds in Barking, east London. 
The tally of young people killed by knives in the UK this year is now 26. The Guardian is counting their deaths as part of Beyond the Blade, a long-term project looking at young people who are victims of knife crime.
The murders of three youths in London come despite a new city-wide strategy intended to reduce knife crime and an increase in stop and search after the new Metropolitan police commissioner, Cressida Dick, said youth violence could define her tenure.
The latest victim was a boy of 15 who was found stabbed in Thornton Heath, south London, at 11pm on Tuesday night. He died at the scene shortly before midnight, after receiving treatment from paramedics. 
Police said they believe they know the identity of the boy, who has been named locally as Jermaine Goupall, but are awaiting formal identification before releasing details. Relatives of the victim, who were gathered in their family home a short distance from the scene in Georgia Road, said they were too upset to talk.
An elderly neighbour who knew the boy said: “He was a nice lad, I would see him to speak to in the street and he would come over and stroke my dog, say hello. It seems desperately sad that this can happen to such an innocent boy.” 
No arrests have been made.
The killing came hours after an 18-year-old man was stabbed to death in Manchester’s Moss Side area, in a brawl that left three other teenagers hurt, including one who suffered “life-changing injuries”, according to police. 
Extra police had been deployed to the streets of the poor south Manchester district, which has a reputation for gang violence, in the wake of the convictions on Monday of 10 men and a teenage boy for the stabbing of another 18-year-old, Abdulwahab Hafidah, in the area last year. 
Police are not linking the latest attack with the killing of Hafidah. “We don’t know why this attack took place,” said Supt Dave Pester of Greater Manchester police. “At this stage there is absolutely no information to suggest whether or not any of the known people were members of gangs.”
In the early hours of Tuesday in south London police responded to reports of a disturbance on the Old Kent Road, Peckham. Officers found a 19-year-old suffering stab injuries close to a late-night African restaurant and bar. Despite the efforts of paramedics, he was pronounced dead at the scene at 2.50am. 
Officers have since made six arrests, although three suspects were subsequently told they will face no further action.
The deaths came six days after Joshua Bwalya, 16, was found stabbed in Barking, east London, after he and two friends were reportedly ambushed as they made their way home from a party at a community centre that had been halted by gatecrashers.
Masked assailants chased the trio through a 24-hour supermarket on Ripple Road and back into the street, where Joshua was stabbed, the Evening Standard reported
His two friends were reportedly also stabbed but survived the attack, the paper reported, adding that one had, despite his injuries, tried to raise the alarm by knocking on doors at the scene. 
On Monday, police arrested an 18-year-old and two 19-year-olds on suspicion of murdering Joshua. 
In London, a raft of measures have recently been introduced in an attempt to tackle knife crime and youth violence. Despite opposition from equalities campaigners, the Met commissioner, Cressida Dick, has encouraged officers to increase their use of stop and search
Meanwhile, renewed resources have been allocated to the Met’s anti-knife campaign, Operation Shield, and a new knife crime strategy - including the introduction of knife-detecting equipment in schools - was published by the Greater London Authority in June. 
Critics of the authorities’ response have warned that it is not possible to use enforcement to solve the problem and that more police searches, which disproportionately target black youths, risk alienating black people from the police.