How Gangs Are Behind a Quarter of Violent Crime
Byline: Rebecca Camber Crime Reporter
SCOTLAND Yard declared war on gangs yesterday as it emerged they are responsible for half of London's shootings and one in seven rapes.
Police said 4,800 gangsters were to blame for almost a quarter of the capital's serious violence, a sixth of all robberies, 16 per cent of the drug trade and 20 per cent of stabbings.
The figures came as the Met unveiled a [pounds sterling]60million taskforce to crack down on the problem.
New Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe is expanding the existing Trident squad, increasing its remit from probing shootings in the black community to all gangs.
The force is also doubling the number of officers dedicated to gang crime from 450 to 1,000.
Police are aware of 435 'crews' operating in London, but only 250 are criminally active.
Of those, 62 are categorised as posing a risk of 'high harm' and are estimated to be behind two thirds of gang-related offences.
According to the crime figures, 480 rapes or 14 per cent of the 3,431 sex attacks in London every year are carried out by known gang members.
They also account for 22 per cent of serious violence, 20 per cent of stabbings and 247 out of the 547 shootings during 2011.
More than 6,200 personal robberies and 40 per cent of all commercial premises and 'cash in transit' thefts can also be traced back to the 4,800 criminals.
And they have been blamed for 26 per cent of aggravated burglary and 12 per cent of residential burglaries, which is equivalent to 7,650 break-ins a year.
Some of the criminals responsible are as young as 14, with a third of those shot aged under 19.
Statistics show that 84 per cent of gang members are under 24 and twothirds of those are black males. …