Gang crime poses a bigger threat to society than terrorism, an expert has claimed.
Two teenagers were killed within just minutes of another this week, both reportedly gunned down as they were caught in brutal postcode wars in London.
Dr. Mohammed Rahman, a lecturer in Criminology at Birmingham City University, told MailOnline that gang violence now poses a bigger threat to residents in the UK than terrorism.
And he said criminals are using YouTube and social media to encourage gang members to carry out killings.
So far this year, the Metropolitan Police has launched 50 murder investigations – 12 in January, 15 in February, 19 in March and four in April
Dr Rahman said while such crime was not a new phenomenon, gangland activities are on the rise amid an increase in social media use.
He told MailOnline: ‘There is a rise in knife crime because nothing is being done about it.
‘Gang crime and gangland violence should be taken seriously as terrorism by the state.
‘Statistical trends over the years show more fatalities of gangland activities than terrorist activities. There is no voice of reason from state officials and an absence of debate.’
Kelvin Odunuyi, 19, was gunned down as he stood with friends at the entrance of the Vue cinema in Wood Green, on March 8
He added: ‘One of the catalysts of postcode wars is social media. Youths of today are using social media to stamp their authority within a particular locale through images, texts, and visuals.
‘They are essentially criminal undertakers – individuals who feel as though they’re superior to others within the context of geographical areas.
‘There is a surge in video platforms such as Link Up TV and YouTube which are promoting individuals recently released from prison for serious crimes.
‘Within the first three or four months they’re on these platforms talking about stuff they’ve done previously. They may have stopped reoffending in the common term but what they’ve done is re-channelled violent energies and made it digitalised.
‘I see individuals I know that have been incarcerated for a long time then film videos talking about violence and death.’
He added: ‘Gangs have access to knives relatively easy – they are sold to over 18s in most shops.
‘Although we consider ourselves to have some of the tightest gun controls laws in the world, they’re easy to get hold of.
‘There is a push and a pull effect – as soon as you make it illegal you create a black market.
‘Rogue dealers are supplying and distributing guns to gangland bosses and they are then used in hits.’
On the same night Tanesha (right) was shot, a 16-year-old, named locally as Amaan Shakoor (left), was shot in the face in Walthamstow by ‘rival drug dealers’. He died later in hospital
Floral tributes have been left for Tanesha Melbourne-Blake on Chalgrove Road in Tottenham
Meanwhile MP David Lammy has spoken out about the surge in murders across the capital, blaming the ‘serious drug market’ after two teenagers were shot and killed within minutes of one another.
MP David Lammy has spoken out about the surge in murders across the capital
The MP said the spike in knife and gun crime was particularly prevalent in Haringey, north London, where it is fuelled by a turf war between two rival gangs in Tottenham and Wood Green.
Mr Lammy said: ‘The gang turf wars that we are seeing in communities like mine are being fuelled by vast quantities of cocaine being shipped into our country by organised crime bosses and serious gangsters.
‘What lies behind the gun violence and the knife crime is a serious drug market that is being run by big time gangsters and McMafia style underworld bosses.
‘We are hearing very little from the Government and the police about what they are doing to take down these criminal empires.
‘I raised it at Prime Minister’s Questions back in January and I await a date from the Home Secretary for an urgent meeting to discuss the Government’s strategy and the re