The Gang Matrix is is a racially biased database criminalising a generation of young black men.
It claims that the database is a practice of the Metropolitan Police and other government services which view youth violence, gun and knife crime in London through a politicised lens of a ‘war against the gang’.
Amnesty International’s research on the Gang Matrix finds that:
- While it purports to be a risk management tool focused on preventing serious violence, 40% of people listed on the matrix have no record of involvement in any violent offence in the past two years and 35% have never committed any ‘serious offence’.
- The concepts of the ‘gang’ and ‘gang member’ are vague and ill-defined, and the process for adding and removing people from the database lacks clear parameters; this leads to over-broad and arbitrary identification of people as gang members.
- Many of the indicators used by the Metropolitan Police to identify ‘gang members’ simply conflates elements of urban youth culture with violent offending.
- The matrix has taken on the form of digital profiling; 78% of individuals on the Gangs Matrix are black, a number which is disproportionate both to the black population of London (13%) and the percentage of black people among those identified by the police as responsible for serious youth violence in London (27%).
The evidence leads Amnesty International to conclude that the Gangs Violence Matrix is not compliant with international human rights law.