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MPS response to MOPAC's Gangs Matrix review

News   •   Dec 21, 2018 14:15 GMT

The Met utilises the Gangs Matrix to identify and reduce violence and has cooperated fully with the Mayors’ Office review.

The Met welcomes the clear evidence contained within the report that demonstrates how effective it can be in reducing violence and helping to make London safer.

The report clearly shows the benefit that the Gangs Matrix brings in reducing violent offending and victimisation within gangs.

The Met does not believe that the Gangs Matrix directly discriminates against any community and that it reflects the disproportionality of violent offenders and victims of violence that are also described in the report. We are committed to reducing the disproportionate number of young black men who are victims of gang crime.

London and the UK as a whole has experienced an increase in serious violence this year and a significant proportion of this has been attributable to young men in gangs as both offenders and victims. The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) needs to do everything it can to prevent violence using proportionate and lawful means, which includes safeguarding and protecting young people. The report clearly shows how the Gangs Matrix can help to reduce crime and violence within London and the MPS is committed in continuing to use it.

The Met accepts the recommendations published in the Mayor’s report today, and has already begun work to implement a number of them including the completion of a full legal mandate, a Data Protection Impact Assessment and Equality Impact Assessment. We are also committed to providing more information on how the Gang Matrix operates to ensure that we are transparent in this. The MPS recognises that community confidence is essential to how effective we can be in tackling violence and how we operate the Gangs Matrix is central to this.

We also welcome the comments within the report that the Matrix does assist officers and as part of their review, the Mayor’s Office looked at over 7000 individuals over a five-year period. Within that, 96% have at least one sanction for any offence in their lifetime, 46% have sanctions across four or more crime types, 78% have a sanction for violence against the person, weapons or robbery offences and 62% have been sanctioned for a serious offence.

These show individuals on the Matrix have been involved in criminality and large proportions have been involved in violence. Our priority is to reduce violence within London and the Gang Matrix has clearly been shown to help achieve this.

A sanction is a conviction, caution or warning shown on Police National Computer – PNC.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner of Met Operations Duncan Ball said: "This report shows that the Gangs Matrix is a very effective operational tool that can reduce violent crime and assist in diverting young gang members from offending. Importantly, it has also shown the positive impact that it has in reducing victimisation through gang violence. Young black men are disproportionately represented as victims of serious violence and this is an unacceptable position that needs to be addressed. The Matrix helps inform us in doing this.

"The research in the report also shows that when subjects are removed from the Gang Matrix there is a reduction in the number of times they are stopped and searched. This dispels some rumours that ex-gang members continue to be targeted even when they are removed from the Gangs Matrix.

"We accept that we have work to do in order to ensure public confidence in our use of information and data. The report today has further highlighted our commitment to working with the Mayor’s Office, the Information Commissioner’s Office and other partners to ensure that the recommendations within the report are taken forward.

"The Met is totally committed to improving public confidence and transparency and we will keep the public updated on the progress we are making. We will also be exploring further ways of working with partners to diverting more young people away from gangs."