Violent gangs are now "embedded" in our culture, experts have warned after six people were stabbed to death in the capital in seven days.
The comments come after figures released this week show knife crime increased by 14 per cent year on year in 2016 to levels not seen since 2011.
The debate surrounding knife crime was thrown again into the spotlight after six people aged between 17 and 48 were killed in London between April 22 and Friday afternoon, with at least one believed to be gang related.
"Without any shadow of a doubt, gangs have always been present in the periphery as a phenomenon of our culture," said award-winning professor David Wilson.
"But I would say they are now very much embedded in the culture in our towns and cities."
Data released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) on Thursday revealed 4.8 million offences were recorded by police in 2016 compared with 4.4 million in 2015.
The 9 per cent jump included 1.3 million incidents of violent crime, which marked a 4 per cent rise and represents the first increase since 2011.
Most noticeable however is the leap from 28,427 knife offences to 32,448.
Mr Wilson, a criminology professor at Birmingham City University, who is also a former prison governor and an author, added: "Without a doubt, we are seeing a lot more young people using knives in the context of gangs and organised crime."
He also pointed to a "widening gap" between the rich and poor and improved techniques in the ways police can record offences.
Ken Marsh, the chairman of the Met Police Federation and a serving constable of more than 25 years, said: "The increase is also down to the impunity of people who feel they can walk around with a knife and not feel challenged.
It's the norm and that is wholly wrong."
Bill Waddington, the chair of the Criminal Law Solicitors Association, suggested that tougher sentences have failed to deter knife crime and that assailants.
"It's quite possible that resources have been put into fighting online crime, fraud and domestic violence, and front line policing has been sidelined," said Mr Waddington, a criminal lawyer of 35 years.
"In many cases, perpetrators think they have a relatively high chance of getting away with it."
The 2016 violent crime statistics also took into account 96 manslaughter victims from 1989 as a result of the Hillsborough inquest verdicts.
The Met Police also earlier this month reported a 24 per cent increase in knife crime.
Analysis by the Telegraph of ONS figures dated up until September 2016 also showed violent crime rose in every corner of the country apart from in Nottinghamshire.
Damien McLaughlin, 42, in Enfield, Mohammed Hasan, 17, in Battersea, Keith Sinclair, 60, in Bow, Abdullah Hammia, 24, in Wandsworth, a 48-year-old man on a Marylebone bus and a man in his 20s in Peckham Rye were all stabbed to death in the past week.
Patrick Dunn, 24, of no fixed abode, was due to appear at Thames Magistrates' Court yesterday charged with murder and grievous bodily harm in connection with Mr Sinclair's death.