Chuka Umunna MP doubts 'gang' label

Monday, 01 February, 2016

On Friday, 29 January Chuka Umunna MP led a debate in parliament on gangs and youth violence in London where he referenced our recent report on Joint Enterprise, gangs and racism. Reflecting on the findings, he agreed the term 'gang' was problematic. 

He said:

'Some question whether we should even use the term 'gang'. What does it mean? I am grateful to the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies for what it has said about that. However, if we are using that term for the purposes of this debate - I accept that maybe we should not'

Umunna claimed that much of the serious youth violence in London is committed by young people who are deemed to be gang-affiliated, and that the Metropolitan police's latest intelligence identified 225 gangs with 3,600 members in London. However our research showed that the overwhelming majority of people on these police gang databases are black, whereas the overwhelming majority of people convicted of serious youth violence are white.