Do London councils do their bit to prevent gang culture? With the rising number of estimated active criminal gangs in London being 250 and compromising of 5,000 people collectively (according to the metropolitan police), London councils have a DUTY to implement innovations and initiatives to reduce gang culture.

The rise in gang culture has resulted in increased knife crime and grievous bodily harm such as acid attacks among the youth. In 2017 alone, 12,980 knife crimes took place within London. Councils such as Croydon council have implemented many schemes but much more needs to be done in order to effectively reduce knife crime.

Some of the schemes include:

• The installation of metal detectors in McDonalds

• The recognition of charities that reduce knife crime

• More youth clubs

These schemes are efficient, but the community say that the metal detectors could be deemed as a metaphorical/physical barrier between social groups. The detectors stigmatise and marginalise the youth and in some cases make the elderly fear the youth thus, not reducing knife crime but causing more social problems.

Sutton council have also implemented initiatives to tackle the growth of gang culture:

• ‘Street-a-week’- initiative where officers from the 18 safer neighbourhoods teams across the boroughs visit every resident and business on Sutton’s 1,631 streets

• Police officer and public engagement

Some ways that gang culture is tackled is more or less increasing the involvement of the youth. For instance, one circulated view about the 'stop and search' procedure is that it stigmatises the youth and if anything makes them more likely to be part of this culture as "the feds think that's what we are already". In stigmatising the youth, this embeds violence into OUR community and OUR culture.

All of these initiatives from both councils have proven to be successful but overall, the gang culture still persists with the number of acid attacks and knife violence rising throughout London. The encouragement of these gang-related activities must be tackled through social media as for some criminal activity, this is the place where the criminals channel their life of criminality. The diffusion of gang culture is still prominent but as communities develop, hopefully there will be change. Do you have any ideas to improve the rate of Sutton’s gang-related crimes?