Guns, Knives, Gangs and Crews' Ann Oakes-Odger

Guns, Knives, Gangs and Crews… mix into this the main ingredient ‘Drugs’ and there it is, the complete ‘Cocktail’…‘Britain’s Weapons of Mass Destruction!’ 

On Valentines Day 14th February, 2007, traditionally a National Day of ‘Love’…instead, news of a shooting…Billy Cox 15 years old, dead!

Gangs and Crews
The worst villains of the day when I was a teenager was the Kray Twins who ultimately spent most of their lives incarcerated at Her Majesty's pleasure after the shooting in the Blind Beggar Pub in Whitechapel, and for their notorious gangland activities. But the scale of the so-called Underworld the world the Kray Twins lived in then, did not come close to the criminal activities that we are reading about on a daily basis, the criminal element of today! Whilst Knife Crime still far outweighs that of Gun Crime, it is nevertheless alarming to hear of the needless death of Billy Cox. His was the third killing in South London within days, followed by a shooting in the early hours of Saturday morning of a 28 year old man, shot dead in Hackney.

Billy Cox was believed to be an associate of a gang called the Clap Town Kids based in Clapham. These child and teen gangs, kids with attitudes towards authority and the Law are becoming commonplace everywhere, not just in the inner cities. Childhood seems to be getting shorter with far too many young people influenced by drugs and organised crime that gradually pulls young people into the dark, seedy and terrifying world of Gangs. Gangs armed with weapons driven to violence by drugs with prison or death being an inevitability! All too often, innocent members of the public pay the ultimate price, muggings resulting in death or serious injury or violence towards anyone who may reasonably question their unreasonable behaviour these Gang members simply have little or no real value for life.



Gangs dominated by older youths and men rely more and more on children as young as 11 and 12 years old - often siblings are used as runners to carry drugs. This cruel recruitment protects the older criminal from dirtying their hands, whilst indoctrinating the next generation of Gang members.

Organised Crime

Organised Crime is spreading it’s tentacles throughout every Street in Britain - a ’Cauldron of Crime’…sophisticated and made shockingly simple by today’s’ technology.  Mobile ’phones making it simple for ‘illegal’ transactions to take place - anytime, anyplace, anywhere…any street, any alleyway, shop doorway or even the School Playground!  These gangs of streetwise ’hoods’ despite being mere children are manipulated by the older criminal gangs…sucked into a world that seems initially attractive and glamorous, but all too perilous to later try to escape from.  The Clap Town Kids are one of a number of small ’gangs’ to have sprung up in inner cities across Britain, to the great alarm of police forces around the country.

Gangs from London

Various known gangs based in London all too often taking their business out to the Home Counties to ply their trade.  Gangs such as the Poverty Driven Children, previously known as the Pill Dem Crew in Brixton, the Ghetto Boys in Deptford, the Blood Set in Peckham, the South Man Syndicate in Tooting (Streatham and Thornton Heath) and the Alphabet Crew in Hackney.  These Gangs or Crews, pool their resources - stabbings are commonplace and often not even reported, but in gang terms the message of a shooting is “serious beef”…surely it’s all the same thing…death by any means is “serious beef”…and the Penalty in Law must be ‘Seriously Tough!’.

What’s the remedy for the spiralling problem?  Tony Blair said…

 “We plan to bring down the Mandatory Sentence of 5 years for carrying a Gun,
to apply to the under 21’s…in fact, bring this ’mandatory sentence’ down to apply to
17 year old?”

  “When sentencing someone for Murder or Manslaughter….it should be considered
 an ’aggravating factor, where the convicted killer
 is a proven member of a ’Gang’…?”

“Police to be able to carry out American FBI style surveillance on
those suspected of dealing in arms?”

“Better ‘Witness Protection’ for anyone giving evidence?”


For my money, we still need a National School Education Programme…Weapons Awareness, drug information, the implications of becoming embroiled in ’Gangs’ on the road to a criminal life…which can happen to any young person despite ‘crime’ not being the initial intention!  Lets stop saying…it’s only the under-privileged kids from ’sink estates’ - this is happening everywhere!  Help kids to be informed…then, if they make an informed decision to become a ’hood’ -  deal in drugs, violence and death…then, apply the full force of the Law!


 “We must have a clear message…a ‘Tough Sentencing Strategy’ - with no half- measures ’death is a one-way ticket!’
























































E. & O.E.