§ Murders of children by other children have tripled in three years, as more of the nation’s youth get drawn into a deadly world of guns and knives.
§ The number of killings in which both victim and assailant were under 18 has jumped from 12 in 2005 to 37 last year, according to a new study.
§ The research paints a picture of a country where youth-on-youth violence is spiralling as the Government struggles to rein back the increasing number of children turning to gangs and falling into a life of drugs. It reveals:
• A quarter of all gun crimes last year were committed by under-18s.
• More than half of killings are believed to be gang-related.
• Children as young as five are joining gangs.
• Youths are killed for going into the "wrong" postcode area.
• A sixfold increase in the number of gangs in some parts of London since 2000.
§ Among the 37 killed by other youths last year were Kiyan Prince, 15, a striker for QPR’s youth team; Ben Hitchcock, 16, stabbed to death in Beckenham, a leafy London suburb; and Rhys Jones, 11, who was gunned down by a boy in a hood, believed to be 15.
§ Paul Erhahon, a 14-year-old schoolboy, was stabbed to death outside his home just so that a gang of youths - some as young as 13 - could "earn their spurs".
§ The number of under-18s convicted or cautioned over violent offences rose from 17,590 to 24,102 - an increase of 37 per cent.
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