17-year-old becomes third teenager stabbed to death in London in 2018

A 17-year-old has been stabbed to death in east London in a "sustained and possibly targeted attack" - the third teenager fatally knifed in the capital this year.

The Metropolitan Police said officers were called to reports of a youth with stab wounds at Goldwing Close, Canning Town, shortly after 8pm on Wednesday.

London Ambulance Service paramedics were unable to save the victim and he was pronounced dead at 8.38pm.

No-one has been arrested in connection with the Valentine's Day killing, police said.

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The victim is the third teenager to die as a result of knife crime in London so far in 2018 and among 12 people stabbed to death across all ages, according to Scotland Yard.

Detectives are examining whether an abandoned vehicle found in Freemasons Road, near Victoria Dock Road in east London, is linked to the attack.

The latest killing comes as both the Mayor of London and Scotland Yard face mounting pressure to bring the city's knife crime problem under control.

In 2017, there were 80 fatal stabbings in London.

Theresa May drew an angry response from Sadiq Khan earlier this month when she suggested that the surge in deaths came after Labour took charge of the capital.

Mr Khan, who succeeded Conservative Boris Johnson to the role, wrote on Twitter: "The PM simply can't be allowed to get away with misleading information.

"Knife crime is rising across Britain - not just London - & started going up well before May 2016. 8 years of Tory cuts to police & preventative services must urgently be reversed."

Last year, the Government also unveiled plans to tighten the regime covering online sales of knives following concerns that age-verification checks can be sidestepped.

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The teenager has yet to be formally identified but it is believed he is aged 17 and officers are informing his next of kin.

Acting Detective Inspector Perry Benton said: "At this very early stage we are still piecing together what exactly has happened.

"However we believe the 17-year-old victim has lost his life following a sustained and possibly targeted attack.

"We would urge anyone who witnessed the incident, or who has any information, to come forward and speak to police as soon as possible."

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Homicide and Major Crime Command incident room on 0208 345 3775, police on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 quoting ref 8884/14FEB.