Reasons Not To Privatize The Feds: Part Two

bullet-boy-DI-01

Going Country

More and more, city gangs are sending young runners out into the sticks to sell crack and heroin. We spoke to dealers, sex workers and police to get a better understanding of how the whole thing works.

As commuters arrive into Britain’s major cities from their homes in the shires, a different kind of commuter is travelling the opposite direction. They’re more likely to be young and wearing trainers, tracksuits and puffer jackets. Most of them generate more cash each day than their city-bound counterparts. The tools of their trade are a cheap mobile phone, a bag of class A drugs and a knife.

Last week, the National Crime Agency released its second report into the growing phenomenon known as “going country” – city drug gangs sending young runners to sell crack and heroin in market or coastal towns. The report found that these were no occasional day trips: over 180 urban drug dealing gangs have expanded into the jurisdictions of three quarters of British police forces.

c5c93526b33df25e1c3846ea814f79b7

Going country, or “OT” (out there), is not an entirely new phenomenon. Gangs from the big four UK drug hubs – London, Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool – have been sending dealers to sell in less crowded areas since the rise of the highly profitable crack selling business, and of mobile phones, in the 1990s. The drug trade in Ipswich, Suffolk, for example, has been dominated by London gangs since 2003.

 HAINE, LAYet, in the last decade, across Britain the trickle has turned into a flood. Using motorways and trains, city gangs have expanded their reach far and wide, beyond the commuter belt, from Devon and Gloucestershire to Humberside and Scotland. London gangs – the most prolific of them all – have taken over the trade across the south of England: in west country towns such as Swindon, Melksham, Aylesbury, Bournemouth and Yeovil; in southern towns such as Hastings, Eastbourne, Worthing, Tunbridge Wells, Margate and Brighton; and in the east, in Colchester, Cambridge, Norwich, Leiston and Bury St Edmonds.

the-firm-puremovies

What’s more, the dealers are getting younger, with children as young as 11 being found selling drugs in areas a world away from the inner city zones they call home. Meanwhile, as the newcomers increasingly discard the old school criminal code of local drug markets, rivalry, enmity and violence intensifies.

Despite recent police and media reports about this phenomenon, little is known about how these gangs operate and the impact they have on “host” towns. In truth, it’s a story about a collision point: where people’s desperation to escape poverty and pain meets head-on with the cold, hard economics of the drug trade.

G4s have demonstrated to the general public just how adept they are at managing national events and the probation service, they clearly aren’t. So where would they find the money for the kind of policing work that throws up this research data? Policing cuts have consequences.

99f440749c7591a776e8943b8b90f358

Police start armed patrols in London’s gang crime hotspots

britain

Scotland Yard is deploying armed patrols in gang crime neighbourhoods this week in a tough crackdown on youth violence.

Marksmen in armed response vehicles are being targeted to wards with high gang tensions and the highest number of gun discharges in the capital.

The move is part of a week long initiative to tackle a surge in gun discharges and gang crime offences in London.

Police say they are carrying out weapon sweeps, intelligence led stop operations and “directed patrols” by armed response vehicles.

Trident gang crime officers are also carrying out search warrants on gun crime suspects and using ANPR cameras to target criminals.

So far this week police have seized eight firearms, including two handguns and three sawn-off shotguns, four knives, two swords, 11 kilos of cocaine, three kilos of cannabis, one kilo of MDMA, four kilos of crack cocaine and heroin with a street value of £250,000.

Eight people have been arrested.

Detectives say Operation Kestrel is an extension of an earlier initiative launched against knife crime in June which has resulted in 6,000 arrests and led to 1,000 knives being seized.

The move comes amid concern about the number of teenage homicides in London this year and a resurgence in gang activity.

In another drive against firearms in the week after the Paris atrocity, police seized 17 guns – including a fully loaded Mac-10 machine gun found hidden in a house in north London, it was revealed today.

anti_gun_crime_1_by_d_e_graphxs

Figures for the past 12 months show there were 349 gun discharges in London, compared to 303 in the same period the previous year, a rise of 15 per cent.

Police say the increase has declined from 22 per cent earlier in the year and include reports of heard gunshots as well as ‘non-lethal’ gun shots from weapons such as airguns.

The Stonebridge estate ward in Harlesden has recorded the highest number of gun discharges of wards in London.

Detective Chief Superintendent Kevin Southworth, in charge of the Trident and Area Crime Command, said : “This is a week of intensive activity to deter and disrupt criminals carrying firearms and to reassure the public that we are doing all we can. We are running this in tandem with a drive against knife crime.

“The whole point is to stop people hiding guns, this could be a life saved in the gang world or it could be a firearm laid down for an extremist operation.”

He added: “These will not be sweeping armed patrols but they are going to be intelligence led and targeted so we will go to areas which have the most number of discharges. “These are directed patrols and mean armed officers will be on hand if anything occurs but the prime aim is to deter. Villains recognise our armed response vehicles.”

Detective Chief Superintendent Kevin Southworth, in charge of the Trident and Area Crime Command, said : “This is a week of intensive activity to deter and disrupt criminals carrying firearms and to reassure the public that we are doing all we can. We are running this in tandem with a drive against knife crime.

“The whole point is to stop people hiding guns, this could be a life saved in the gang world or it could be a firearm laid down for an extremist operation.”

He added: “These will not be sweeping armed patrols but they are going to be intelligence led and targeted so we will go to areas which have the most number of discharges. “These are directed patrols and mean armed officers will be on hand if anything occurs but the prime aim is to deter. Villains recognise our armed response vehicles.”

march682_502839a