The new three R’s

I watched the excellent documentary ‘Crime Invasion: Britain’s New Underworld’ on the Virgin1 channel tonight.

Investigative reporter Rageh Omaar travelled around Birmingham, pointing out the ‘postcode gang’ violence between the Burger Bar Boys from the B2 area of the city, and the Johnson Crew from the B6 area. Knives, and firearms have for years caused tit for tat killings, and led to the New Year’s Day machine gun slayings of Charlene Ellis and Latisha Shakespeare back in 2003. Ironically, one of those convicted – Marcus Ellis – was a half brother of one of the murdered girls.

But perhaps most fascinating was a ten second interview with an elderly Asian man who was asked whether there was an effective police presence in the area.

“They are not afraid of God” he said. “How they can they be afraid of Police?”

Birmingham’s young people – many armed with powerful and terrying deadly weapons – claim the reason for their behaviour is the new three R’s – Revenge, Revenue and Respect.

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