DCI Jim McKee and his team from Trident target one of London’s most dangerous gangs, based in Newham. Their investigation uncovers that recent attacks in the borough have been carried out by teenagers groomed by gang leaders. This is the first time detectives have seen the deliberate recruitment of school children to commit serious acts of violent acts. They fear more teenagers across the borough are at risk of being pulled into the gangs. Jim’s team believe a gang member and drill artist is behind the grooming of the teenagers, and when a young boy is kidnapped and tortured, Trident get a vital lead on their main suspect.
Two men attack Desmond O’Beirne in Trafalgar Square. One of the men delivers a fatal punch and Desmond dies six months later from his injuries. The attack is captured on CCTV, but with 15 million tourists visiting Trafalgar Square every year, it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack. Desmond’s sister is determined to get justice for her brother and does an appeal at New Scotland Yard asking for witnesses to come forward.
Following the harrowing season finale which saw a dangerous gang in Newham manipulate and groom young teenagers to commit crime, DCI Jim McKee and colleagues hosted a live Q&A to discuss the typical grooming process.
Signs to spot
Making a young person feel that they will be looked after
Providing gifts such as trainers and phones
Lending them money
These are just some of the tactics used by gangs to groom teenagers. These tactics often mean the young person is then in their debt and will owe them favours - such as carrying weapons or selling drugs. They have no problem with putting a young person at risk to make money.
Our officers speak to parents of these young men and they don't understand how their son can go from playing football with friends to full on gang member, going out and stabbing someone.
Knowing the signs to spot of gang grooming can mean that you can help a young person before it's too late - before they either get hurt or do something that they end up regretting.
If you are concerned about your child or another young person then there are things you can look for - subtle changes in behaviour could be an indicator. Find out more about the signs to spot.
Help yourself, your family, your friends and your community
There are those that have no problem with putting a young person at risk to make money. We want to know who they are, their associates, their family. We want to know everything about them so we can work to prevent further crime.
You can play a vital part in keeping teenagers safe. You could save a life.
Passing on information to organisations such as Crimestoppers or Fearless.Org can not only help after a crime or an incident, but vitally stop something from happening in the first place.
This could mean that someone can be saved from being hurt, or helped before they commit a crime and end up in the criminal justice system.
We would always prefer to prevent crime rather than have to detect it as this means something has happened to someone. There is always help for you should you feel threatened, frightened or thing you are at risk of harm.
Both Fearless.Org and Crimestoppers are 100% anonymous and totally independent of the police. They never ask your name, they cannot trace your call or any device you are using and no one will ever know that you've passed on information.