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Tuesday, 13 August, 2002, 14:52 GMT 15:52 UK
Guns ruin lives say new police adverts
Seized guns
Gun crime is growing in parts of London
A new initiative to try to reduce soaring gun crime in the black community is being launched in south London.

Figures released on Tuesday show 20 people were shot in July - five people died.

The figures are the worst for a single month since the Metropolitan Police created Operation Trident - a special unit to target gun violence in the black community.

High profile advertisements are being unveiled at the Fridge nightclub in Brixton.

Operation Trident poster
New posters will target six boroughs

Posters which hope to persuade communities to work with the police against gun crime are going up in six boroughs across the capital.

Brent, Hackney, Haringey, Lambeth, Newham and Southwark will all feature the new designs.

And new radio advertisements will be played throughout August.

Commander Alan Brown, head of Operation Trident, said: "The images are designed to make people realise how the lives of children are ruined by gunmen and drugs.

"If we make the environment hostile for offenders, they will not be able to survive in these communities."

Last year 21 black men lost their lives in 17 shootings. All the suspects were other black men.

Only 40% of the 21 gun murders investigated by Operation Trident last year have been solved, half the normal clear-up rate for murders.

'Narcissistic'

Earlier this year Commander Brown admitted there had been a "significant rise" in shootings.

He said the drug and gun culture was producing an "incredibly narcissistic" generation of violent young criminals.

"Their reaction to any act of what they see as disrespect is extreme violence.

"We have seen people shot because they have made a sarcastic remark about someone's haircut or stood on someone's foot in a nightclub and not said sorry."

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Commissioner Alan Brown
"We are trying to make the environment hostile for the offender"

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See also:

17 Jan 02 | England
02 Jan 02 | England
04 Jan 02 | England
17 Nov 01 | England
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