In this Project I will be writing about crime in East London. The main reason I chose to do Crime was because crime has been a key factor in how it has affected many people across the world. The types of crime I will talk about are Knife, Gun, and Gang. East London is located in London and an easier way to find it is by any post code as anything beginning with ‘E’ is part of East London. In general East London is a very multi-cultural society with many sets of group living there and in it you can find something from all parts of the world but recently, over the past 3 years has been hit by a number of crime related incidents which have affected many people in the area from the young to the old.
I will now write about crimes which occurred over the past 20 years and give examples of some I will also define the meaning of each crime and also the word crime, so that people know what they mean. The word ‘Crime’ can simply mean an action that breaks the law but different people have different opinions of what they think of the word crime: The three main types of crime I will talk about are knife, Gun and Gang.
Knife crime can be any crime that involves a knife. This could include many aspects such as: carrying or trying to buy a knife if you’re under 18, threatening people with a knife, carrying a knife that is banned. Knife Crime in the Past 20 years wasn’t such a major problem because knives were not easy to get hold of and the main purpose of having a knife was for home purposes such as cooking etc. The most common knife crime was committed in the very early 70’s by a person who was known as Jack the ripper, who killed more than 5 people by raping his victims and slicing their throats with a knife and hiding his victims under the floor boards in plastic bags.
Gun Crime can be anything that involves a gun for example a murder where the victim is shot, any situation where a gun is fired, intimidating people with a weapon, carrying a gun that is banned, such as a handgun, carrying or using an imitation gun such as a plastic or toy gun. In the 17th century a series of gun related crimes were committed in the East London by the person called Thomas Hopkins, in which he kidnapped people who had caused him grief and trouble in his childhood and took them to his house where he put them through pain and eventually killed them by shooting them through the brain blowing their heads off. He had 3 victims killed before soon realising that no one could help with his illness and he shot himself to death on the 4th of March 1799.
Gang crime could be a gang in a large group of people who mayn’t be involved in crime and violence. Many young people will not realise they are in a gang, they will just think they are in a group of friends. Being in a gang is not illegal - only the criminal offences committed within the gang is illegal. The most commonly known gang crimes were committed in east London by two people who were also bothers named the Kray twins, (Ronnie and Reggie). They worked together to commit a number of violent assaults, arson, armed robberies and other organised crimes. They were known as the East End gangsters and the Godfathers of Britain. Both sets of bothers were sentenced to imprisonment once found guilty by the police. Since then they both have died.
In this section of my project I will talk about the crime in East London in the recent years. It is quite obvious that crime compared to the past 20 years has increased and below I will talk about why it has increased and give some examples of people who have been affected by the type of crimes. Figures and research show that crime has increased by 25% in the East London with Knife and Gang crime being the highest of number of Crimes committed.
Knife Crime in East London has recently increased from the past. This is down to an increase of Gangs and easier ways to get in possession of a knife. An example of knife crime in East London was On Sunday 7th October; a boy was stabbed to death when he tried to stop a gang stealing a friend's mobile phone in West Ham Park. It was due to him protecting his friends and was innocently stabbed and died on the scene. The reason why people especially young people may carry knives around is due to the number of Knife crime happening in the area, and in order for them to feel safe and secure they carry a knife around with them or if they are part of a gang it could have been pressured on them to carry one or as the rest of the gang may have one, then the young person has to have one to feel as if they are part of it and not left out, and in case anyone tries to stab them or attack them with a knife they have something to use against the attacker.
Gun Crime is a lot fewer then Knife crime. A boy from London has made British criminal history by becoming the youngest person to be convicted for possessing a firearm. The boy, aged 13 at the time and can’t be named for legal reason, said he was storing a Russian-made pistol, two silencers and ammunition in his mother's home as a favour for an older gang member. Many people will not carry a gun on them, but may be in possession of one or may know somewhere where one is easy to get hold of. Gun Crime is not so common is East London as it has been harder to get hold of guns and find them.
The largest number of gangs in East London are said to be in Hackney, (22 gangs); Enfield in north London (13); Lambeth and Merton in south London (12 gangs each); Waltham Forest(8) in north east London. Gangs are found to have around 20 to 30 members and to commit crimes in smaller groups of three to six, as being in a large group could get people suspicious. Religion was also found to be a key factor, with some gangs solely being just Muslims or Catholics members and there is rather few gangs with a mixture of race and religion in them as people feel a mixture of people in a gang can’t be trusted. A former gang leader said “some young people became gang members in order to feel protected. They feel safe in a gang because you have got older people in the gang who are always going to look after them; they feel like we are their olders almost like brothers and family member. You are always moving as a pack. It's as you fight in a war people out there in the world are out to come after us and take us down we have to keep on the move”. It is very common that if you find a large gang that someone normally the higher rate leader will be in possession of a gun for safety purposes or to use in case of a gang feuds.
There is one other Main issue why gang crime has increased and has been created in East London and this is down to which postcode they live in. Teenagers marked as "E5" or "E9" were at risk of being attacked for straying into the wrong area. Simply crossing to the other side of a street which borders two postcodes could end in violence.
An Example of these post-code gangs is that one teenage girl has been a victim of two attacks due to the area she comes from and the area she went into. The Most common way of people asking where the people are from by asking “'What Ends are you from?” giving a wrong answer at this point could have you attacked or mugged. The reason why this happens is that Gangs feel like their area is their territory and that no one should cross, especially people from opposite postcode. This Type of gang crime has become so bad people don’t feel safe walking through some areas and have to find alternative routes to get home etc. Unfortunately some people are unaware that they may be in a gang, a large group of friends could be hanging out together, something which may be normal to them, but people may feel that they are in a gang as people walking past may feel intimidated by the size and feel unsafe. So it shows you that you don’t need to be committing crimes in a gang to be classified as being in a gang.
All crimes are related to each other in some shape or form. Due to the increase of Knife Crime and overall crime more and more people are joining gangs to feel safe and have people protecting them. These gangs cause crime and will carry some sort of weapon with them normally a knife and maybe a gun. So all these types of crime are linked within each other.
Many things have been done to reduce crime in East London. A new law was created by the government that police have the right to stop and search anyone they think might be in possession of a weapon or look suspicious. Many people have their own point of view on this topic. Some people think that it is inappropriate as police says it’s a random stop and search. While they could be searching someone by random who is innocence someone else carrying a knife would not being searched as and walking about with a Knife. I personally have been stopped and searched and think it’s a time consuming process and waste both mines and police time as I know that I’m not carrying a weapon and the police time as they not find nothing on me. Tougher sentence have been put in place for people who carry a knife or stab or kill someone using a weapon, as more people would know that they can’t get away. There is more surveillance put in place as more police officers have been put on patrol on the streets to help reduce the crimes and make the public feel safer.
Also another new law that has been created by the government is the rise in the age of people who can buy a knife as now people have to be over 18 to be able to purchase a knife from a shop. This law allows young people from being able to stop them from buying a knife and going out and using it. Even ASBO’s (anti social behaviour order) have been given to some gangs and gangs members to try to make them stop hanging around in large groups and causing trouble but some people think that ASBO’S are a tag of pride and use it to show people that they have it and show off about it thinking it is a good thing and it’s not working for the police. That’s why many more police officers are patrolling the streets of East London to stop large groups hanging around and try to get them to move away from residential areas.
The reason why crime occurs in east London I think is due to poverty as people don’t have money so they go out and commit crimes to ensure that they get money and the things they need. So doing these crimes would make them money or stealing from people by using a knife to threaten them to hand over their items. So I think money and greed are the biggest motivation why so many people go out there and commit crimes. Poor upbringing is another reason why people who have failed in life or no longer attend school or college for reasons like being excluded from it are more likely to go out and commit crimes. Has they don’t have anything to do and they know that they don’t have a good future ahead and some believe that prison life is much easier than the real world. Also some people think that crime is the easier option to take in life as it’s “easy money” to get hold of.
The way crime has increased over the time has affected the world, as East London is such a multi-cultural area; many people want to come over to East London from all parts of the world. The people have heard about the crimes that have occurred in east London, which may make them feel unsafe as they would be new to the country, and make them reconsider about coming over in case they get caught up in any of the crime.
The reason why crime has stayed on the increased and not gone down since the past is down to not harsh enough punishment given to the people who get caught. So if someone was caught committing a crime and faced a punishment they would know that they won’t get away and make them re-think about not going out and committing the crimes as they would know that the punishment would be a substantial one.
I think that the crimes that are occurring in east London are unnecessary and only just giving a bad name to East London and I think that East London will not be the same for a very long time as crimes if nothing is done to make them stop. All these crimes are affecting people’s live; people who live here are worried over their safety and outsiders who want to come over for a holiday or to live and will think twice. I think that the only way crime can be stopped is by getting the police to do more. Crime in East London hasn’t really affected me in a way that much. The only way it has affected me is that all crimes that happen get blamed on the young people and I am one of the young people so even people who aren’t committing the crimes get given a bad name.