Headline, April07, 2014

"' KILL HIM ! - KILL HIM !!! : 


At the centre of the teenage war is a perverse circularity corroborated by the understanding, shared by Trident's DI Steve Tyler, that in this part of the town:

""Today's victim is tomorrow's suspect."   It is literally a vicious circle  -where knives that are carried to protect become the cause of their carrier being attacked, and where gangs form in defence, but quickly become aggressors"".

Early in 2007, the police identified up to  169 gangs   with as many as 5000 members in London. The phenomenon is only too real.

Aaron can tell you everything you'd rather not know about how the factional south London microcosm functions today. He knows what it means to spot a group of boys walking with identical coloured bandanas:

Hanging from their pockets or worn bandit-style across the mouth. "If you see bandanas on their face," he says,  "there's going to be madness".

Depending on which part of town you're in red, yellow, blue, green and purple bandanas mean that you're in the presence, respectively of Stockwell's G-street gang or Brixton Hill Bloodset; the Peckham Boys-

The Cripset or MZ  (MurderZone)  outfits based on the Somerleyton Estate on Briton's Coldharbour Lane; the OC (OrganisedCriminals), based in the housing estates of Angell Town and Myatts Fields; and PIF (Paid in Full), from the Loughborough Estate, a subset of Brixton's:

Pre-eminent PDC  (formerly Peel Dem Crew) , a gang who recently repositioned themselves as a music collective.

The feudalism doesn't end there. Aaron could tell you about the Brockley Man Dem. Young Peckham Boys. Wildcats, Roadside Gs, Ghetto Boys, DTK, SUK, Acre Lane Campaign, RMK, T-Block-

D-Block, O-Tray, Heathset, Gipset, Stick Up Kids, Kids On The Hill, Clap Town Kidz, Man Dem Crew and CFR, all in Southwark and Lambeth alone.   

In the gang sphere, excuses for antagonism are easy to find violence flares quickly. All hell can break loose when someone steps on someone else's shoes in a dance, when someone looks at someone else the wrong way:

Or when a casual hand gesture, as in one recent case, is misinterpreted as the two-finger  "gun-salute".

"In the raves, certain people don't go to party," Aaron explains. "They go in there to fight. There's 20 of us and 20 of them. Something will kick off. He'll say," Why you looking at me?" And I'll say, 'What's wrong with you?' And someone will get stabbed.

Serious assaults can result from perceived defections where one gang member judges another as failing to  "rep his ends".

Similarly, long-standing  neighbour hood rivalries  -"beefs" between Packham and Brixton  -for example  -are perpetuating long after their original causes were forgotten, because  "reppin'  your ends", is a central function of the gang's  raison d'etre.

"If a guy's in the wrong place, it's possible he'll get attacked," Delroy Thomas says, "Peckham and Brixton are in major beef now. Guys from Brixton will not enter Peckham. Peckham guys, on the other hand, will come to Brixton. They'll see a guy:

And just smash him up, regardless  -he's in Brixton, so he's from Brixton. It's that deep." 

Initiation rites, which range from the banal to the brutal, also play their part. To earn the respect of his peers, a young man or woman may be asked  "bat beef" - publicly confront a rival to prove he's no pussy.

He may be asked to jack someone's phone,  mug a commuter for his laptop, just beat someone up or sink a knife in their back.

"When someone gets stabbed, it's about someone getting a name for themselves," says Aaron. "You become a bad boy. You have the guts to prove that you're a bad boy. If you stay in school:

You're going to end-up without no rep. No friends. You have to be affiliated with all the bad stuff to have friends>"

Much of the violence crystallises around the notion of  "respect" and "face"  -commodities that can be won or lost., and that also function as markers of gang territory.

Straying into the wrong  "ends" is interpreted as an act of disrespect  -a "violation"  -and dealt with accordingly.

This the  "expressive criminality"  of fighting serves ultimately to define the broader gang identity. Like Catherine  Tate's depiction of the histrionic teenage response to imagined criticisms. Lambeth young gangland hotheads are excessively  "bovvered"  about reputation.

And the younger the gang member, the more poisonous reimaging of "respect" appears to be. "Proportionally the younger they get, the more the element of respect increases," says DI Tayler.

Operation Trident, whose work stretches beyond the teenage crime that exploded that year, 2007,  are keen to suggest that the streets aren't  "awash with firearms"  and nor is murder an everyday occurrence.  

In 2006, Trident reported 199 shootings and  18  murders  -much fewer than one everyday.

DI Taylor estimates the costs of straightforward Trident murder investigation at pound 1 million. "But we don't  have many straightforward murders," he adds.
Reforming behaviour may not come so easily to his wider generation as it did to Aaron.

On the   "Trident Criminality Theories"  firearm availability is only one in  72 possible causes leading to gun crime. From the centre of the web-like chart, 12 interconnecting principal clauses such as:

Gangs, peers, education, drugs, culture, psychology, and chosen criminal career path, are fed into by many more secondary elements. They include absent role models, unemployment,  "bling" , gangster rap-

Deprivation, low self-esteem, protection, turf wars,  ""proving oneself"", belonging, fashion, revenge, school expulsion, drugs,  'nihilism'  and more.

In Trident's theory, the route to extreme violence can be through any of these.

"There is no one casual factor,"  DI Tyler says. He talks about " psychological issues :

A lot of young people live for the moment and don't anticipate living long so they do the  50 Cent   thing:

"" Get Rich or Die Tryin "".   

"And peer pressure being sucked into badness at as young as six or seven, dropping off a bit of dope for a tenner. By the time they're teenagers, they're already in it.

^Drugs are usually the crime element."

Another factor points towards the severe  "socioeconomic"  causes that are all to visible in the deprivation of Angell Town, Somerleyton or any of London's other tough estates.

"In the main,  Trident criminality takes place in the most deprived areas in the most deprived boroughs."  DI Taylor says.

The Honour and serving of this post continues:
With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all on the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

"' Designed And Handcrafted "'

Good Night & God Bless!

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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