Byline: PIPPA CRERAR, MARTIN BENTHAM
BORIS JOHNSON today accused Ken Livingstone of losing control of youthcrime in London.
The Tory candidate said the emergence of child gangsters showed the Mayor couldnot cope with youth violence.
His comments came as the Met warned that chil-dren as young as 12 were fuellingan increase in gun crime. A firearms specialist told Mr Johnson that the ageprofile of gangs has dropped as young teenagers seek kudos on the streets.
Inspector Matt Twist, of the special firearms unit, said: Were increasinglyencountering young people with guns. A lot of children start off carry-ingreplica guns to get kudos. But we dont know the difference.
Mr Johnson said: It just shows how the Mayor has lost control of crime. We needto invest heavily in voluntary groups who do so much work in diverting youngpeople away from a life of violence.
Inspector Twist said: The age of people going out on the streets of London haschanged dramati-cally. The gangs that are emerging, youre looking at childrenas young as 12 or 13 or 14 who may be in possession of something like this [afirearm] . …