In the wake of multiple knife-related murders in the UK’s capital, activist and ex-gang member Josh Osbourne takes an in-depth look at the “code of silence”. This is an entrenched mindset that regularly stops young people from going to the authorities, in fear of being labelled a “snitch”.
Britain’s most senior police officer attributes the recent spate of murders to austerity, drug markets, police cuts and social media, yet despite a controversial crack-down targeting drill music videos, the number of deaths keep rising.
Josh follows the grieving families struggling to find justice and answers in their own communities. He speaks to an active gang member about how reputation is a fiercely protected social capital and shame can be a gateway to violence. He learns that surviving a knife attack is no longer seen as a close call, but a badge of honour, and how the consequences of knife crime stretch beyond simply life and death. The film explores how the internet has profoundly altered the way conflicts are instigated and unravel on London’s streets, and how the communities affected are reacting to this.
As London remains in the throes of a knife crime epidemic, VICE takes a look at one of the most important domestic issues of our time.
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