Mercy Muroki: London is one teen killing away from 2008 record, where are you Sadiq Khan?
'I want Sadiq Khan to remember the names of every single young man dead in London this year under his watch'
The latest deadly stabbing of a teenager in London has brought the number of teen stabbings and shootings this year to 27 in our nation's capital.
We are now just one fatal stab wound or gunshot away from beating the annual teen homicide record for London set in 2008. No doubt, when I sit in this chair again in a weeks time, another teen body will lay in a London morgue, taken mercilessly at the hands of, most likely, another young person.
Now, stabbings are a UK-wide problem - just last week 12-year-old Ava White was stabbed to death in Liverpool as the Christmas lights were switched on. But London has by far the worst teen homicide problem.
Sadiq Khan – where are you? In fact, where are any of our politicians when the roads of deprived inner-city areas are paved with the blood of children and young people?
They simply don't care.
The reason is clear to see - it's because these young people come from poor communites, it's because they don't vote, and frankly, it's because they're young men. Young, poor men are becoming society's most failed demographic – they're crippled with a sense of no purpose, they feel hopeless, they're brainwashed by the allure of gang life, and they're vilified and abandoned by society.
I want Sadiq Khan to remember the names of every single young man dead in London this year under his watch. I want him and Cressida Dick, the head of the Met police, to lose sleep every single night thinking of these names:
Anas Mezzener, 17 – the first teen stabbed to death in London this year, Romario Opia, 15, Hani Solomon, 18, Drekwon Patterson, 16, Ahmed Beker, 19, Tai Jordan O'Donnell, 19, Mazaza Owusu-Mensah, 18, Nikolay Vandev, 19, Hussain Chaudry, 18, Levi Ernest-Morrison, 17, Abubakkar Jah, 18, Daniel Laskos, 16, Taylor Cox, 19, Denardo Samuels-Brooks, 17, Alex Ajanaku, 18, Hazrat Wali, 18, Jalan Woods-Bell, 15, Kamran Khalid, 18, Tashawn Watt, 19, Camron Smith, 16, Tamim Ian Habimama, 15, Keane Flynn-Harling, 16, Damarie Omare Roye, 16, Stelios Aver-kew, 16, Rishmeet Sighn, 16. And the youngest two, Fares Maatou and Jermaine Cools who were only 14 when they were stabbed to death on London's streets.
These young men might be just names on a briefing to the Mayor of London, to the Met, to the Home Secretary. But they represent immeasurable untold damage to grieving mothers, fathers, and already damaged communities.
I absolutely don't have the answers, I might have the willpower, but those in charge of running our society have the real power. The power to address this problem if they really wanted to – they choose to do nothing.
How high must this figure climb, just how many people have to experience this grief, how many children need to get back to school to see an empty chair, how many police officers need to pick up the bodies of children until those in charge stick their heads out of the sand?
I might not have the answers, but I'm not elected to have them. It's time we see solutions to this epidemic.