Gang members in London and the wider country are taking part in a deadly game in which they receive varying points for stabbing or shooting victims in different parts of the body.
The system of point scoring sees 50 points given for an attack on the head or face, 30 points for the chest, 20 for the stomach, and so on. The gang members often brag about the points they have racked up in rap videos posted to YouTube and other social media.
One such victim of this type of crime was Rhyhiem Barton, a 17-year-old boy who was shot in South London last year. Barton had himself been seen in a video rapping about “the scorecard” in a drill music video seen over 300,000 times.
Khan’s London: 14-Year-Old Boy Stabbed in Back and Head https://t.co/3Ms3f0wDYe
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 9, 2019
Barton was involved in a mentorship programme and his mentor, Sayce Holmes-Lewis, told Sky News: “Is there a literal scoreboard? Yes. People are keeping count of the attacks that each organisation is carrying out.”
Mr Holmes-Lewis continued: “You stab a person in the head or the chest you get a certain number of points. You get varying points for the severity of the violent act. Young people’s reality seems to be very warped when it comes to violence. They think it is a game. Taking somebody out and killing somebody is now fun.”
“These videos are not being taken down quickly enough and they should be screened before they go on,” he added.
“I know it’s very difficult with the high volume of traffic on social media but these are young people — young people are dying as a result of some of these things that are being released on YouTube, on Instagram and Snapchat and more needs to be done.”
Khan’s London: Children, Teenagers Behind Half of Knife Crime https://t.co/LvcqdCdfKq
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 5, 2019
In Ipswich last month, four young men were sentenced for the murder of Tavis Spencer-Aitkens. Aristote Yenge, 23, Kyreis Davies, 17, Isaac Calver, 19, and Adebayo Amusa, 20, stabbed Spencer-Aitkens 15 times.
They later bragged about the murder on social media, saying they were “scoring points like 23”. This is thought to be in reference to the high point scoring American basketball player Michael Jordan, who wore the number 23 on his jersey.
Chris Peddie, who works with young people affected by gang crime, said of the videos: “They are always ‘scoring points like 23’. It means they always get their target. They sing about ‘riding dirty, never clean’. It means they’ve always got drugs or knives or guns.”
He added: “The more violent the attack, the more points. You get a lot of points for the face and the head because it is visible.”
His warning comes as it was reported on Wednesday that a charity recommended children be taught grime rap and hip-hop in schools instead of classical music such as Mozart — to be more “relevant” to young people’s tastes and prevent school exclusions, somehow.
Knife Crime Epidemic Causing ‘Ripple Effect’ Across NHS https://t.co/WUWPVB00CI
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 15, 2019
Popular grim rapper Michael Ebenazer Kwadjo Omari Owuo Jr, or “Stormzy”, has produced music contains lyrics such as “beef with the champ, my man pulled out a shank, how you gonna scare me with this?” and “I don’t never ever slack, grab my gun and go to war (boy) I got brothers up in jail, going mad up in their cells”.
Stormzy is friendly with hard-left Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who described him as “one of London’s most inspiring young men” in 2017 and presented him the “Best Solo Artist” trophy at the GQ awards.