Monday, 26 October 2009
DISTURBING AND TRAGIC SITUATION OF SOME OF OUR YOUTH
ONLY THE GRASSROOTS IN THE COMMUNITY
CAN ADDRESS THIS; THE POLICE & GOVERNMENTS
HAVE FAILED AND CONTINUE TO FAIL US
Girls accept gun running and rape as
price of joining violent male gangs
Police are finding weapons being carried by young girls for
gang members Adam Fresco, Crime Correspondent
Teenage girls wanting to join violent male gangs are being
forced into having sex and ferrying guns, knives and drugs,
police and charities have found.
The girls, some as young as 13, want to join gangs to raise
their own profile or to seek protection. Often they are
swayed by the status given to the senior members of the
When they first join they are told they must have sex with
one member of the gang — and then find several of the gang
waiting for them.
What has shocked welfare workers is that the girls accept
the situation as normal and do not appreciate that they are
being violated. The girls are also being asked to store and
transport guns, knives and drugs for the male members of
the gang and police have evidence that girls are taking
guns direct to killers and then disposing of the weapons
once someone has been shot.
The problem has been growing over the past couple of years,
with charities getting ever more girls coming to them with
tales of gang rapes, and yet reluctant to press charges.
Teresa Pointing, chief executive of In-volve, a charity
helping young people drawn into violent situations, said:
“These girls have no rights within these gangs, which are
primitive in the way they operate.”
“The girls think they are going to be protected by the gang
if they have sex with one person but then they find there
are more boys there.”
The problem is growing at such a rate that the Home Office
and the Metropolitan Police helped to fund a conference of
different agencies earlier this month to discuss the issue.
There is another meeting planned this week between the
Metropolitan Police, the Home Office and the Greater London
Authority to discuss how to deal with the matter.
But workers on the front line accuse the Government of not
giving them enough funding.
So far this year, more girls have been caught carrying guns
than in the whole of last year, with weapons including
MAC10 machine-pistols. The weapons are capable of firing
1,000 rounds a minute and are known as “room-clearers”. In
a recent raid by police targeting violent youth crime, 25
females aged between 14 and 39 were arrested in connection
with assaults, drug offences and carrying weapons.
Superintendent David Chinchen, who deals with youth
violence, said: “Young women are being dragged into the
fringes of male criminality and gangs. We are seeing more
elements of violence from girls within gangs.” He also said
that officers had seen signs of girls becoming involved in
sexual violence. Plans are under way to increase home
visits to the parents of girls who officials believe are
becoming involved in gangs and serious violence.
Dr Pointing added: “These girls are very much second-class
citizens within the gangs but they see it as normal. That’s
the bit that is most disturbing.”