The findings highlight the worsening urban crime epidemic in the city where homicides have increased for the third consecutive year and have called for greater focus on preventive techniques to tackle crime with knives.
"There are children and young people who are exposed to violence literally on a daily basis who are not members of gangs; they are just pupils," said lead author Karim Brohi, a traumatic surgeon at the Barts Health NHS Trust. Evidence shows "an endemic problem around school violence," he said.
Researchers analyzed data for 1,824 individuals aged 25 or under who had been treated for corrosion injuries at an injury center in East London between 2004 and 2014 and a recovered incident hours and positions from ambulance data and the hospital registry.
They found that children under 16 were significantly more likely to soften between 4 and 6 pm on a school day compared to young adults (between the ages of 20 and 24), with 22% of all childhood dummies occurring between these years, compared with 11% among young adults.
Nearly half of these tweaks were made within 5 kilometers of the victim's home, they found. The majority of the remaining breasts occurred later in the evening, according to other data for young adults.
Total increase in children who appear in injury centers for a "wound-induced attack" recorded an average increase of 25% each year between 2004 and 2014.
The data also highlighted income inequalities in households, with 71% of incidents occurring in poorer neighborhoods, compared with only 1% in richer areas.
"People bring knives because they think they need it for protection," said Brohi. "There is a general level of exposure to violence among young people living with them in a way that they did not previously have."
The findings "actually bring the reality of knife crime," said Patrick Green, chief executive officer of the United Kingdom's knife crime charity, The Ben Kinsella Trust, who was not involved in the study. "People assume it is something that happens in the little hours [the data] shows that it is part of the everyday life of young people. "
"It's becoming more and more common"
The study is the latest to highlight the increase in violent deaths in London in recent years.
A deadly one on Monday night, in the summer, the city's manslaughter counts 119, linking the highest annual figure since 2010, when deaths related to terrorism are ruled out, according to Metropolitan Police. Five fatal rapes have been reported in London last week, police say.
Across England and Wales, knife-related crime is at the highest level since 2011, while the year ending in March 2018 recorded an increase of 16% in the last 12 months, says the Office of National Statistics.
"Especially among young people, it has become part of their lifestyle," said Brohi. "She was once the youngest person to see [for a stabbing] was 17 or 18. Now it's 12 or 13. "
Calls for a "long-term approach"
Doctors behind the study said the findings highlight the need for a change in attitudes and the approach of crime with youth knives.
"A long-term multilevel and community approach is necessary to change the culture of violence that now runs through the degraded areas of London," Brohi said, calling for "comprehensive post-school activities and targeted policing."
Green asked for a precautionary approach, saying, "You can not just hold people arrested and the problem goes away. You need to focus on tackling the causes.
"This issue is a national priority," he added. "It is shocking that young people are at risk when they go to and from school."