Mad dogs and Englishmen.


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KP95DAO
January 2, 2003, 09:49 PM
http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/crime/story.jsp?story=366016


Rise of guns as 'status symbols' fuels violence
By Ian Burrell and Paul Peachey
03 January 2003


A bloody feud between two heavily-armed gangs has brought terror to the streets of inner-city Birmingham.

Yesterday's murder of two teenage girls at a party in the Aston area of the city was close to the scenes of other gang shootings and was immediately linked to the tit-for-tat feud by many locals.

The war between the Johnson Crew and the Burger Bar Boys, who emulate Jamaican Yardie gangsters in their fight for control of Birmingham's street drug trade, has been tormenting the Midlands city for more than six years. The gangs have been held responsible for gangland-style executions, armed robberies and dozens of shootings. One killing involving the gangs in 2000 was compared in court to "a gunfight at the OK Corral".

They have been targeted by West Midland Police's specialist Operation Ventara team, which investigates black-on-black gun crime and is modelled on Scotland Yard's Operation Trident.

The gangs take their names from their original meeting places – one a café in Johnson Street and the other a fast-food outlet in the Lozells district of the city. Police hoped they had ended the violence in 1997 when several leaders of the Johnson Crew were convicted of serious offences, including murder and armed robbery.

At the trial at Birmingham Crown Court, 32 witnesses were allowed to use pseudonyms and give evidence from behind screens. The jury was told that gang members wore bullet-proof vests and "revelled in gratuitous violence".

The release from prison of some gang members has coincided with a resurgence of feuding in Britain's underworld, with access to firearms in the inner cities at an unprecedented level. Estimates of the numbers of guns in circulation, given to a Home Office committee in 1996, ranged from 200,000 to four million.

But the total is increasing all the time. The National Criminal Intelligence Service believes some guns are available for hire and others used in one crime are sold on to other criminals rather than flung away. The gun's rise as a status symbol has seen them used increasingly by black gangsters in cities including London, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol and Leeds to settle inter-gang disputes, even over relatively minor drug debts.

Where once only senior members of Turkish gangs had guns, they are increasingly widespread and used against rivals, police and Customs to try to avoid the long jail terms for heroin smuggling. Semi- automatic and automatic guns are also becoming more common. "There is no street cred in a sawn-off shotgun for the majority of today's armed criminals," said the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir John Stevens.

The many previously disabled "ornamental" guns converted for use again, or "reactivated", suggests a possible shortfall in weapons. An estimated 120,000 deactivated guns are believed to be in Britain with only a minimum of skill needed to fire them again.

Gun crime has increased sharply in recent years, especially in cities and not just within and between organised gangs, although contract killings and violent kidnappings have risen sharply.

Last month, Scotland Yard reported seeing considerably more guns used in robberies: 116 in November, compared with 83 in April, and said it was training new armed teams to meet the threat. The Home Office will publish new figures this month showing a record number of crimes involving guns

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Monkeyleg
January 2, 2003, 10:30 PM
"Mad Dogs and Englishmen"

It was one of the best albums of all time.

Dave R
January 2, 2003, 11:53 PM
"Gun crime has increased sharply in recent years, especially in cities and not just within and between organised gangs, although contract killings and violent kidnappings have risen sharply. "
-------

That oughta be posted on Sarah Brady's site. That's want disarming a populace gets you.

dave
January 3, 2003, 12:25 AM
But......but........but.........guns there are banned. How can they be having a problem with them.? I mean, Sara told me it would WORK. Surely she didn't LIE to me?

Skunkabilly
January 3, 2003, 12:29 AM
Funny no mention of the handgun ban already in place.

sm
January 3, 2003, 12:34 AM
Less guns = More crime
More guns = Less crime

really sad they keep getting the equation wrong


What--Joe Cocker not in this thread?

4v50 Gary
January 3, 2003, 02:46 AM
Outrageous that criminals don't follow the law. Gee, that isn't anything new, is it?

Kamicosmos
January 3, 2003, 06:41 AM
I've been watching this on the news. Also currently in London there is a gun man holded up with a hostage since Boxing Day. Heavily armed police are outside trying to figure out what to do.

I'll admit, I was surprised on my first visit into London this July to see most of the cops armed with Glocks. Oh they still have thier whistles and nightsticks...

There is alot of talk over here about banning toy guns, replicas, paintball and BB guns because they Increase Interest in the Gun Culture.

Whatever. Can't wait to get back to the States in a couple of weeks. Going straight to the gun range too. (well, I'll unpack first. Maybe wait a day to get over jet lag...)

Kamicosmos

El Tejon
January 3, 2003, 06:44 AM
One guy since the 26th? When does he sleep?

As to the story, sad, but predictable.

Kamicosmos
January 3, 2003, 07:04 AM
That's what's sad about the situation. The police have the whole block sealed off and evacuated the other tenants of the flat building. They've been giving him food 3 times a day as part of 'negotiations'! They are just now thinking about shutting off his electricity and gas!!!! Neighbors are pissed off about the whole deal.

If this situation was in the States, I bet it would have been resolved in a matter of hours, probably wouldn't have made national news...


Here is an article about cracking down on gun crime after the two girls were shot:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/2624187.stm

and here is an article on the hostage deal:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/2620513.stm

Kamicosmos

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