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Almost a thousand under-25s shot or stabbed in London last year

Boris Johnson says £3 million will be spent on every year for the next four years in an effort to reduce London's worrying gang-related crime figures.

It's believed 224 gangs operate in the capital, with a total of 3,495 members. Together, they're responsible for a fifth of all London crime.

London’s ambulance service has in 2013 it was called to 973 victims under the age of 25 who and suffered gunshot or knife wounds. The majority of the incidents are understood to be gang-related.

The figures were released at a gangs summit hosted today by Boris Johnson.

Mayor to attend gang violence conference

The conference will discuss how to stop gang culture and arms dealings Credit: Met Police

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson is to attend a major conference on how to tackle gang violence in the capital .

Speakers include Kevin G. O'Connor, the Assistant Police Commissioner for New York City and the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe.

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Young girls in the capital forced into violent gang life

Young girls across the capital are being trapped in gangs and forced into a life of violence, according to a new report.

The study by the Centre for Social Justice in partnership with London charity XLP asked 96 young people connected with gangs what they saw as a normal part of gang life.

The report found sexual exploitation, drugs-running and gun handling among female gang members is extremely common, and found girls were often used to stash weapons and drugs because police stop-and-searches are so rarely performed on girls.

Last year in London only six percent of these searches were on women.

The CSJ warned that "too little" is changing despite the launch of a Home Office-led strategy into gang culture three years ago.

London gangs 'spreading wings' to deal drugs

Gangs from London boroughs are increasingly "spreading their wings" to seek markets for drugs in other parts of the country, a Metropolitan Police officer has warned.

The warning came a day after co-ordinated raids in the Thames Valley, Edinburgh, Essex, Bedfordshire and London in which 29 people were arrested in an operation targeting the south London-based GAS gang.

Gangs "spreading their wings" to seek markets for drugs. Credit: PA

But the senior officer who speaks on gangs for the Association of Chief Police Officers said "significant headway" was being made in dealing with gang-related crime, with a decrease in gun and knife crime.

Deputy Chief Constable David Thompson of West Midlands Police told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that gangs had always relocated in search of opportunities to make money or in response to pressure from police on their home turf.

Gang culture on the rise in Barnet, warns local woman

When you think of gang violence, drug dealing and knife crime you don't automatically think of Barnet in North London. But one local young woman has warned the problem is growing in the borough and people don't realise how serious it is.

To tell her story she approached ITV Fixers, the scheme that gives young people a voice on issues that matter to them, to help her produce a film to highlight the problem.

Anti gang talent showcase

Gang warfare in the capital is being targeted by one charity trying to turn inter-neighbourhood rivalry on it's head.

XLP helps mentor young people and tonight is the biggest event in its calendar - its annual talent showcase.

The event highlights the skills of talented young Londoners - and aims to help steer them away from gangs and gang culture.

Piers Hopkirk explains:

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Dangerous dogs being bred

Young men are breeding dangerous dogs as status symbols Credit: PA

Dangerous dogs are being bred by young men as business assets in drug deals, debt collection and for their gang image, according to research published today.

More young men were using aggressive dogs, such as Pitbulls, as a "commodity" for security and making money in gangs, the study found.

Dr Simon Harding, of Middlesex University London, who is behind the research, said: "For many young people, dogs are increasingly viewed as a commodity which can be traded up or down like a mobile phone.

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