A teenager will appear in a London court on Friday charged with the murder of a 15-year-old schoolgirl in a case that has once again shone the spotlight on UK knife crime.
Elianne Andam was stabbed to death in Croydon, south London, as she went to school on Wednesday.
A 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was arrested shortly afterwards.
He is due to appear at youth court, sitting at Croydon Magistrates’ Court, later Friday charged with murder and possession of a knife, police said in a statement.
Emergency services including an air ambulance were called to the scene at around 8:30 am (0730 GMT) following reports of a stabbing.
Paramedics battled to save the girl but she was pronounced dead at the scene 50 minutes later.
London mayor Sadiq Khan said he was “heartbroken” by the fatal incident and pledged to “continue working day and night to end the scourge of knife crime in our city”.
According to official figures, 99 people under the age of 25 were killed in England and Wales with a knife or sharp object in the year to March 2023. Of those 13 were under the age of 16.
The deaths were among 50,000 stabbing incidents in the year to March 2023, a five percent increase on the previous year and a 75 percent increase on a decade ago, the figures from the Office for National Statistics showed.
Andam was a pupil at Old Palace of John Whitgift School, a private girls’ school in Croydon.
“We are deeply shocked by the senseless and tragic death of our much-loved and valued friend and pupil,” the school said in a statement.
“It will take some time for the Old Palace community to come to terms with this terrible news.”