Half of all knife crime in London is carried out by people aged 19 and under, and three quarters of offenders are from minority ethnic groups, the latest figures show.

Statistics from the London Metropolitan Police revealed that 49 per cent of knife crime perpetrators in the capital are teenaged or younger, with 41 per cent of offenders aged between 15 and 19 and eight per cent aged between ten and 14.

Chief Superintendent Ade Adelekan, head of the Met’s Violent Crime Task Force, said the figures illustrate how “more and more young” people were getting caught up in knife crime.

“Violence is top of the agenda for the Met and knife crime injury victims under 25 are 15 per cent down,” he said, telling an event held by policy debate forum Westminster Insight that figures were “heading in the right direction”.

“Part of our success around this has been down to increasing our use of stop and search,” he explained, reporting a “significant” boost in the use of the tactic in recent months.

The police chief admitted officers have needed to “re-educate” themselves on the correct way to conduct a stop and search, with many losing the “art and skill” in the years since Theresa May, then home secretary, demanded drastic cuts to their use of the power, which she alleged was “unfair, especially to young black men”.

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