Youth Street Gangs Threaten London

Matthew Harwood

It's not just the United States and Latin America where youth gang-related violence and drug dealing have become an epidemic, but London as well.

Today's The Sydney Morning Herald picks up a story from London's Telegraph which reports there are more than 170 street gangs, some 100-strong, roaming around London and other United Kingdom cities looking for trouble, according to Scotland Yard.

The gangs' weapon of choice is the nine millimeter-caliber handgun, the same glamorized by U.S. rappers.

Detective Chief Superintendent Barry Norman, head of Scotland Yard's Violent Crime Directorate, told the paper nothing in his 28 years of service has prepared him for the problems associated with gang warfare.

"Trying to suppress [gang] crime on a day-to-day basis is like holding a football under water. Eventually it just comes flying back in your face."

He also said the threat of youth street gangs is second only to that of terrorism facing Londoners.

In related news across the Atlantic, the New York Times reports gang members in Newark, New Jersey, have pledged to put down their weapons in the aftermath of the execution style shootings of four young adults last week. Three of the victims died, while the fourth survived.

For more information on street gangs, check out this description from the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Justice.


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