Trident, the Met’s anti-gun crime unit, has issued a stark warning to young women in the capital of the consequences of storing and transporting guns for others.
Based around the strap line “Hide his gun and you help commit the crime” the campaign will use radio, cinema and billboard advertisements to reach out to young women of African and African Caribbean heritage in six six priority boroughs: Brent, Hackney, Haringey, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark.
The Met says the campaign is a response to a recent rise in the number of young women being arrested and convicted for possessing weapons. Earlier this month a 16-year-old girl from south east London was charged with one count of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and one of supplying a firearm. She was arrested after Trident officers found a 9mm Browning self loading pistol loaded with one round in her bedroom.
Launching the campaign Detective Chief Superintendent Helen Ball, head of Triden warned that “those who store and carry guns for others are partly responsible for the crimes committed with those weapons. The consequences for them, their families and their friends are not worth thinking about.”
Since 2004 46 women and girls have been charged with possession of a firearm.
Claudia Webbe, chair the Trident Independent Advisory Group, said: “Vulnerable young women are sometimes pressurised into storing or transporting the weapons by men they know, or sometimes willingly do so. The consequences of this for the young women themselves are devastating. It is vital that we act now to prevent more young women becoming involved in carrying and storing firearms.”
Anyone with information about gun crime should contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111. Crimestoppers is an independent charity that guarantees anonymity.