YouTube and other social media websites must do more to crack down on music videos that glamorize violence and gun crime, Scotland Yard’s gang specialist has said.
About half of the gun violence in the capital was gang-related and 70 percent of illegal firearms seized were recovered alongside class A drugs, temporary commander Jim Stokley revealed.
While the rate of gun offending has slowed, Mr Stokley said there had been an increase in the supply and availability of weapons on London’s streets.
“We really need support and help with YouTube and other social media outlets to close these videos down,” he told the Times.
“Of course it’s difficult – we might be able to close it down on one forum but they will show up on another.”
He added: “I would rather have them closed down than have them as a source of intelligence.”
Scotland Yard, which backed Mr Khan’s call, at the time said it fears some of the most violent videos are fuelling soaring knife crime in the capital.
Knife crime in London has increased by 24 percent over the year to April 2016, with gun crime going up 42 percent.
The Met’s Operation Domain has been tackling violent online content since September 2015 and videos have successfully been used in prosecutions.
These include the jailing of four men for the murder of 18-year-old Londoner Marcel Addai in September 2015 during a feud over social media taunts and music videos.
Last year three gang members – Winston White, 22, Akyrie Palmer, 21, and Mark Oduro, 20 – who bragged on YouTube about being armed with guns were jailed for firearms offences for more than 50 years.
YouTube previously said it “strictly prohibits videos that are abusive or promote violence”, adding that the site was working with police forces to understand where videos could pose a real threat.