Gangsters ‘to be treated like terror suspects’ over videos that incite violence
Officers in London will tackle those using the internet to provoke violence in a similar way to those who call for terror attacks online.
Gang members who use videos posted on social media to incite gun and knife violence will be treated like terror suspects, it is reported.
Officers in London will tackle those using the internet to provoke violence in a similar way to those who call for terror attacks online, Scotland Yard said.
Commander Jim Stokley, who heads the Met’s Trident gang unit, told The Times the new measures have been developed following discussion with the Crown Prosecution Service.
He told the paper that for gangs “there isn’t specific legislation, and clearly we can’t use terrorism legislation (but) in consultation with the CPS, we have found some existing legislation which we are going to use”.
Under the Terrorism Act, there does not need to be a link between the incitement of someone to commit an act of terrorism and a specific attack.
Mr Stokley said the new measures could work in a similar way in that there would be no need to link any online post to particular acts of violence, adding that if the judiciary disagree with the idea then the force will look at helping to develop new legislation with the Home Office.
The move follows a rise in violence with more than 60 murder investigations launched already this year in the capital.
It was revealed earlier this week that YouTube has deleted just over half of the music videos Scotland Yard has asked to be taken down because they incite violence, according to police figures.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick has blamed social media for fuelling a surge in murders in London, singling out the drill genre of rap music for glamourising violent crime.
Drill videos easily able to view online feature hooded and masked gangs threatening each other with violent lyrics, gestures and hand signals, with some attracting millions of views.
The Met has built up a database of more than 1,400 videos to use as an intelligence tool as the force tries to tackle an increase in killings and other violent crimes.