Two weeks ago, I wrote about the mounting death toll amongst teenage boys in London this year. At that time, eight young lives had been snuffed out. Since then, another three boys have been shot or stabbed to death.
A senior Metropolitan police officer had this to say: "There's no single thing that will stop 11 [murders] becoming 12. If you get to that age and you haven't got empathy with other human beings, then no amount of draconian policing will stop you becoming a violent offender. All murders have a signal event beforehand, be it a punch-up, act of [so-called] disrespect or a robbery, then it escalates and weapons are used."
The question of how to stop the killings seems to have eclipsed the issue of why. I doubt the kids know themselves.
9. Nicholas Clarke, 19, shot on 15/03/08
10. Amro Elbadawi, 14, stabbed 27/03/08
11. Devoe Roach, 17, stabbed 27/01/08