1. ITV Report

Google Map tracks 'territory' of London gangs as MP warns of 'epidemic' youth violence

The map tracks 'gang territories' across the capital. Credit: Google Maps/Reddit

A Google Map tracking the 'territories' of London's gang has been posted online showing nearly 200 groups allegedly operating in the capital.

The map suggests most of the gangs operate in the east with approximately 50 operating in both south and north London. Only 35 were listed in west London.

One Reddit user wrote in response to the map: "This is beyond embarrassing."

But another called the map's accuracy into question, writing: "This please. Looks like [the original poster] has a new found hobby listening to drill music and is conflating groups with gangs."

Another wrote: "Pretty much all of the East London ones are out of date. Stratford Mandem? It's either the 34 Broadway Gang, or the Portuguese Massive now."

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Labour MP David Lammy has warned of an "epidemic" of youth violence in London, as figures showed more than a third of all homicide victims across the capital so far this year were aged under 24.

Some 34 of the 100 victims this year were aged between 16 and 24 when they died, twice the national averages for previous years.

Ninety per cent of those victims were male and all but one died from gun or knife wounds.

There were a further four victims aged under 16, including a 15-year-old boy who was stabbed to death.

In comparison, almost 17% of homicide victims across England and Wales were aged between 16 and 24 in 2016/17, dropping to 15% in 2015/16 and 17% in 2014/15.

"Youth violence is reaching epidemic proportions in the UK and we have a significant problem in London," said the Tottenham MP, pointing to a lack of provisions to support families and a "total collapse in neighbourhood policing".

"It is a failure of society at large that many young people feel scared in their communities that they would rather pick up a knife or join a gang to defend themselves," Mr Lammy added.

David Lammy said youth violence has reached 'epidemic proportions'. Credit: PA

Government funding to the Metropolitan Police has dropped by 40% since 2010/11.

Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said in May she was "sure" the budget cuts had contributed to the rise in violent crime as the number of officers in the capital dropped below 30,000, the level which former commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said was the minimum to keep Londoners safe.

John Apter, Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: "Since 2010 we have lost more than 21,000 officers and 7,000 Police Community Support Officers which means fewer officers on our streets to tackle exactly these sorts of crimes."

Eight per cent of the 21,000 officers lost were from "neighbourhood and front-line policing", he added.

The number of cuts to police officers in London since 2010.

A Government spokesman said: "This Government is taking action to end the deadly cycle of violence that has such a devastating impact on individuals, families and communities.

"We have committed £40m to our Serious Violence Strategy which puts a greater focus on early intervention, alongside a tough law enforcement response."

The spokesman added: "Police have the resources they need to keep people safe. London has the most officers per head and around a quarter of all police officers in England and Wales."

A spokesman for Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: "Sadiq has overseen the Met increasing its officers' use of weapons-related targeted and intelligence-led stop and search as well as funded the new Violent Crime Taskforce which is making arrests and taking knives and weapons off our streets, particularly in high-crime boroughs.

"He is also determined to tackle the causes of crime by investing £45 million in a new Young Londoners Fund, contributing to a public health-led approach to violent crime prevention."