The War Against Firearm

02 Nov 2017

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"Since 1997, gun crime has doubled. It now stands at 10,000 a year—one every hour of every day. Attempted murder with firearms has doubled to more than 1,200 a year—more than three attempted murders every day" this is why such a great deal of government and local resources must be used in effectively combating the growing crime problem in Great Britain. The police play a fundamental role in the development and delivery of the guns and gang strategy of this country. With so much focus on the police’s essential part in these guns and gang strategies this review will look at the various methods been used by the police to help win the war on firearms and gang crime. Tackling gang: A Practical guide released in 2008 broke down the tactics for tackling the guns and gangs problem into our four major cities into main groups;

● "Enforcement strategies for dealing with gangs

● Section 60 stop and search initiatives

● Armed checkpoints

● ANPR initiatives

● Gang disruption operations

● Crack house closures

● Witness intimidation initiatives

● ASBOs and injunctions for use against gang members".

Looking at each of these groups the review will focus on the strategies linked with this grouping idea. It is a high priority within both government and the communities that policies and gang strategies should target young people to help prevent young people becoming part a gang. In 2010 ACPO released "Children & Young people Strategy" this helped highlight the police’s strategy to stopping young children offending or having the perception to offend. "Firstly there is considerable evidence relating to the factors which predict offending, and the earlier the intervention the better the benefits for the individual and for society in general". "ACPO believe it is mandatory on the police service to take a leadership role in forging positive and productive relationships with children and young people and their communities so that those individuals and society as a whole can benefit and barriers to community cohesion can be removed". Believing that tackling the Gang problem from a grassroots level is a long-term plan and is nationally accepted as one which should be invested in

At the beginning of 2012 the metropolitan police launched the "Trident Gang Crime Command to crack down on violence driven by gang culture. In tackling gangs we focused on enforcement by identifying and pursuing the most harmful gang members; on asking and coordination through a new Gangs Operation Centre to monitor armed and gang activity in real-time and to ensure a quick response to emerging threats; and on prevention and diversion by identifying young people on the periphery of gangs"

The Metropolitan Police launched a campaign "Respect. You don't need a gun to get it". This campaign was aimed at African and African-Caribbean youths. "The Metropolitan Police got in partnership with London's black communities, has teamed up with MTV and influential black role models including singer Estelle, Olympic Gold medallist James De Gale and Apprentice winner Tim Campbell, to demonstrate to young people ways of getting respect without a gun". . However as a long term strategy it has yet to be seen if it contributes to vastly lowering the amount of people carrying gun or lowering crime related to firearms.

To see a real reduction in gun and gang related crime, the focus of the police should be to disrupt the established gang member at a local level and combine that with demand reduction strategies. Policing the communities around Britain to help reduce the amount of guns and gang related crime will only be effective if the right strategies are in place due to the amount of gun been passed around the black markets ability to adapt to different enforcement techniques. It has been shown through studies that the most effective way to police the gang members within local communities is the use of "Intelligence-led policing involving the use of sources and informants" and "high visibility policing within the community". The Home Office has highlighted three main points which if completed successfully will reduce gang crimes nationwide.

"providing support to local areas to tackle the problem 

preventing young people from becoming involved in violence in the first place - with a new emphasis on early intervention and prevention 

offering pathways out of violence and the gang culture for young people, who want to break with the past

punishment and enforcement to suppress the violence of those refusing to exit violent lifestyles 

partnership-working to join up the way local areas respond to gang and other youth violence"

In conclusion the ideas and research prove the methods highlighted in this review for combating the growing trend of gangs and firearms use and its related crime are effective, it just needs the support of these youth’s parents, having a role model to look up to rather than looking for one in gang before any significant progress can be made. The government needs to be more proactive in dealing with guns & gang crime, not only when a particular case receives intense media attention.

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HM Government. (2011). Ending Gang and Youth Violence. A Cross-Government Report. 0 (0), p8-p11.

home office. (2012). Knife, gun and gang-related violence . Available: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/crime/knife-gun-gang-youth-violence/. Last accessed 10/12/2012.

May, T; Harocopos, A. Turnbull, P & Hough, M. (2000). Serving up: The impact of low level police enforcement on drug markets. London: Home Office.

Metropolitan Police. (2011/2012). COMMISSIONER’S Annual Report. London: Metropolitan Police.

Metropolitan Police. (2008). Respect. You don't need a gun to get it. .Available: http://content.met.police.uk/Campaign/stoptheguns. Last accessed 10/12/2012.

The Association of Chief Police Officers. (2010-2013). Children & Young People Strategy. London: ACPO.



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