Disproportionality of Black African and Black Caribbean Youth Victims of Serious Violence (murder and GBH) in London

The proportion of Black Youths in the serious violence (Murder and Grievous Bodily Harm) cohort increased in late 2006.
Previous to late 2006 the number of Black Youth victims were tracking trends in in White Youth victims; however by 2007-08 Black African or Black Caribbean heritage under 18 year olds comprised 50% of the serious violence victims cohort, while White European youths comprised 29%

Chart 2. Ethnicity of Youth Victims of GBH and Murder (combined), in London, April 2004 to March 2008

Murder Victims
The Black disproportionality of Youth victims for murder alone is more pronounced.
From April 2004 to end of March 2008:
65% of Youth murder victims were Black African or Black Caribbean
12.5 % of Youth murder victims were White European

The Afro Caribbean (Ethnic Appearance 3) Police category tends to masks a wide range of nationalities. MPS analysis of 26 London youth murders in 2007 indicated 13 different nationalities (victims and offenders) and that approximately one third of the victims and offenders were born abroad.

Data Source: MPS

Violence and murder tends to occur mostly within groups or communities, which means that many of the young Black people discussed have been victimised or murdered by other Black Youths. This issue is discussed further on this link.

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10 Responses to Disproportionality of Black African and Black Caribbean Youth Victims of Serious Violence (murder and GBH) in London

  1. Mark K says:

    The Stockwell Road shooting of that poor 5 year old girl on the 29th March 2011 is another example of a few young black boys shooting guns without a care about who gets hurt. They are caught up in a mad blood lust to kill each other and anyone who gets in their way is a potential victim.
    Who the hell is supplying these stupid children with these guns? How does a 14 or 15 year old who biggest asset is a bicycle get a gun?

    I am sick to death of this nonsense and we have to get a grip.

  2. Serious violence still seems to be reducing in London, but the steep rise in personal robbery in many boroughs is a real worry; with robbery rises in these areas increasing by over a fifth (+20%) in the last year. The rise in robbery (an offence that has a low police reporting rate) suggests that there is a lot more actual and threatened weapon enabled violence occurring, creating an environment where knives, and young people being threatened by knives, is once again becoming a regular feature on our streets.

    While robbery and knife crime affects us all, the elephant in the room continues to be the dominance of Black young men as victims and offenders within the knife and gun murders in London…… It’s probably time to review this Black disproportionality feature properly and if it is a significant variable, own it and tackle it, rather than stepping around it gingerly.

  3. Andy Pa says:

    Your chart and comments seem to be saying that young Black men seem to suffer more incidents of very serious violence/ murder compared to young white men or other ethnicities in London, and that these may be a result of attacks from mostly other Black young men. That the murder victims are mostly Black does seem to be the most regular feature in these young deaths and I don’t think anyone could now even pretend the situation is anything different.
    While a third of the teenage murders may be related to deprivation that leaves two thirds unaccounted. Do you have any theories as to why so many young Black men are being killed by other young Black men?!?? I would love to hear them.

  4. Tanya says:

    I had to comment on the statement in the teenage murder map page, you said:
    …”there is a narrative around violence that is being perpetuated most strongly within Black communities in London. Examples of this narrative could include: a sense that protective factors such as policing and criminal justice system are unlikely to support and protect them; that their identity and security within society is so vulnerable that any minor slight has to be tackled with extremes of force; that options for legitimate success are few so illegitimate means should be pursued. These examples are only guesses but they may be worth exploring further.”

    This probably one of the most incisive things I have read about the teenage violence problem, something that doesn’t shy away from the issues around the level of knife and gun use in the black community but also providing a very clear reason why this could be without the usual – it’s all down to poverty- that no one completely believes anymore. I know what you mean about the sense that people almost have to pretend to be much more aggressive than they actually are and fall into this extreme violence because they think that is what is expected and needed from them to survive in some areas. It is no excuse but maybe the first step is to understand that these children are not intrinsically bad just misguided by some shared idea about what it means to be a young man in certain parts of inner city London.

    Thank you so much and I would love to hear more of your ideas around this.

    Tanya – Lambeth residet

  5. Thanks Tanya we appreciate the positive feedback and hope some of the views within the site continue to generate discussion. There remains a real challenge for both young Black men and wider society to move away from the the violence narrative about Black men.
    I think there are some attractions to retain it within some groups, as they believe it will make them less likely to be picked on. Where the principal threat was from racist white youths many years ago this could of had some justification, where the threat is now more from other Black youths this is less useful.

    There are other features of a violent narrative that are compelling. The association with increased masculinity and for some, sexual prowess, means that even those who can clearly see the increased risks linked with a violent rep, can find it difficult to suggest its all a little bit of nonsense really. Young Black men like all young men are struggling to acquire a sense of identity and self esteem. And where opportunities and a route to success are unclear or seem down right impossible, they will latch onto anything that looks like it may help them establish an identity that can be associated with success. Even if it is a limited and negative form.
    If you think about it they are pretty scared for their own safety as well…. why else would they be hanging around in groups to commit these acts of violence and carrying weapons to “protect themselves”.
    Let me think about this some more and get back to you.
    This discussion continues in a new post on Black on Black serious violence and murder

  6. peju says:

    I am a 16 year old girl who lives in catford, lewisham. this area is ok but i live around a lot of black youths. some of these black youths hang around each other from daylight to night time. I think black youths feel the need to act ‘aggresive’ when around their friends. This could be a reason why gun and knife crime murders are usually commited by a group instead of one person. I think that black youths feel like their gang is their sense of belonging and they would do ‘anything’ to protect/boost its rep.

  7. Anonymous says:

    this is a old gang member from lewisham, se london i went to a school called cofton were i came a gang member i went by the mega and things got bad when i went jail being locked up did not go down well and when i was in prison i will tell my mum that i’ve got no time to come back in but the street frame is some thick sht its deep and the only way out is broke or death so to the rest of my friends in pen doing life sholud be let out couse they don’t know what they do. R.I.P SRAKZ we will be missing you. peace p.s free VYBZ KARTEL GAME OVER OGB MEGZ

  8. John says:

    I am not sure this apply’s but if you look at the black youths that seem to be violent, probably they are being raised without a father figure in their life, with very little supervision. Its time to make the babys daddy’s accountable. Also if you have as you put it African Black youths vs. Caribbean Black youths, these are two separate cultures. Two things that come to mind, is education, self worth, these are things that are lacking in Black youths, and will continue to erode society left un-checked. Arm yourselfs! Of course this is probaby falling on deaf ears, as you think most of us yanks are crazy gun wielding thugs right. Thank god for our 2nd amendment rights and the Constitution Of The United States Of America. Hoo Ray!!!!

  9. Tom W says:

    The situation around violence between young Black kids was pretty bad, but there seems to be a real change in the levels of violence right across London. Lambeth the usual hotspot for knife crime seems to be really reducing knife crime in 2012-13, an over 30% reduction has got to be saying something, when police numbers, crime prevention and youth services are being reduced. I lived as a teenager in Lambeth during the so called gang epidemic in 2009 and it was pretty bad but not as bad as the media and police made out. It is good to see violence reducing and a sense of safety coming back to Lambeth streets.

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