I want to start with a bit of a disclaimer. I first became deeply interested in the topic of crime and policing in response to a wave of gang violence that was plaguing the area of North West London I call home.
I say this to illustrate that there are instances where gangs are the culprit. It isn’t my intention to delegitimise or trivialise those situations. However, in the words of an unnamed senior Met officer talking to Amnesty International: “Gangs are, for the most part, a complete red herring… fixation with the term is unhelpful at every level.”
That hasn’t stopped all major police