FEUDING British mobs — claiming innocent lives on our city streets every week — are modelling themselves on notorious US gangs.
Keir Irwin Rogers, gang culture researcher, told Daily Star Online: “There were 9,000 knife crimes in the last year in London alone, with 866 teenagers stabbed and 291 seriously injured.
“Metropolitan Police estimates that half of all London shootings are gang-related and gang-involved individuals are responsible for around 22% of all serious violence.”
And London youth worker Twilight Bey, who was a gangster in Los Angeles (LA), said young people in the UK have adopted foreign cultures they don’t understand.
The 46-year-old added: “Young gang members see it as games or part of their street culture and identity to adopt practices from LA.
“Then the violence follows and gang memberships escalates.”
The Bloods and Crips gangs were notorious for causing havoc in LA in the 1980s.
Each mob still has around 20,000 members and violently battle in lethal street turf wars. EXPERT: Keir Irwin Rogers has done extensive research into UK gang cultureNOTORIOUS: The LA Bloods, whose members wear red, is an infamous US gang
And gangs in the neighbouring areas of south Manchester are copying LA thugs — so much so they’ve labelled themselves the Moss Side Bloods and Rusholme Crips.
The bloody feud between the warring mobs resulted in two murders since December, police said last week.
Other notorious gangs — including those in the capital — have modelled themselves on the scandalous LA Bloods and Crips.
The 031 is based around the estates in Lambeth and Wandsworth, south London, and names itself after a greeting the LA Bloods uses to mean “love”.
Their Stockwell-based rivals ABM idolises the LA Crips and its name stands for “All ‘Bout Money”.
There are thought to be around 200 gangs in London alone.
A spokesman for Metropolitan Police said: “Combating gang crime is an absolute priority. We know the concerns and damage that it can have on our communities.
“The number of gang members in prison or subject to judicial orders currently stands at over 1500 – a record number.
“We remain fully committed to doing all we can to reduce knife crime, to tackle London’s gangs and take more knives and weapons off our streets and this includes use of legal powers such as stop and search.”
A spokesman for Off Centre, a counselling and advice service for people who associate themselves with gangs in the UK, said: “Gang activity can cause increased fear, a lack of safety, criminal activity, and in some tragic circumstances, deaths.
“This, understandably, has secondary consequences such as parents not wanting to let their children and young people out, and young people themselves feeling scared to go out unprotected, or cross areas identified as postcode territories linked to specific gangs.”
He added young people join gangs to “gain a sense of family” and for the “incentive of money”.
But Mr Irwin Rogers said campaigners in London and other UK cities are calling for more work to be done in schools and youth clubs to prevent young people from carrying knives.
And Melvin McDonald, a community leader at Hideaway Youth Project in Moss Side, Manchester, defended young people in the area.
He said: “There are certain people in Moss Side that think ‘oh my gosh, trouble’ when you hear or see young lads from Moss Side. People start think ‘let’s lock everything up’ or ‘let’s be careful, don’t say anything wrong’.
“But it’s not the case. It’s only a minor few. There is a lot of positive work going on in Moss Side but it’s never highlighted. It is sad really because everyone is tarnished with the same brush.
“A lot of people here, even young people, are doing a lot of hard work to make a change but they are not noticed.”
Recently, Hideaway battled to tackle the gang culture in Manchester by taking 10 young men from the Rusholme area and 10 young men from the Moss Side area to Spain to play football and put their turf differences aside.
“As soon as we got off the plane, it went so smoothly. It was great,” Mr McDonald added.