Nytt

Britisk politi og velferdsorganisasjoner opplyser at tenåringsjenter som ønsker å komme inn i voldelige gjenger blir tvunget til å ha sex og å frakte skytevåpen, kniver og narkotika. Jentene – noen så unge som 13 år – ønsker som regel å bli medlem av en gjeng for å profilere seg eller for å skaffe seg beskyttelse, men så snart de kommer inn i gjengen blir de fortalt at de må ha sex med et gjengmedlem – for så å finne at det dreier seg om flere menn.

Sjokkerte velferdsarbeidere forteller imidlertid at jentene aksepterer denne situasjonen som normal og ser ikke at de blir utsatt for overgrep. Jentene har ingen rettigheter innenfor gjengene som opererer med primitive standarder:

The girls are also being asked to store and transport guns, knives and drugs for the male members of the gang and police have evidence that girls are taking guns direct to killers and then disposing of the weapons once someone has been shot.

The problem has been growing over the past couple of years, with charities getting ever more girls coming to them with tales of gang rapes, and yet reluctant to press charges.

Teresa Pointing, chief executive of In-volve, a charity helping young people drawn into violent situations, said: «These girls have no rights within these gangs, which are primitive in the way they operate.»

«The girls think they are going to be protected by the gang if they have sex with one person but then they find there are more boys there.»

Problemet har fått et slikt omfang at det britiske innenriksdepartementet og Metropolitan politiet tidligere denne måneden finansierte en konferanse med forskjellige institusjoner for å diskutere saken. Det er også planlagt et møte mellom Metropolitan politiet, innenriksdepartementet og myndighetene i Stor-London for å diskutere hvordan de skal gripe problematikken an.

Men de som arbeider i frontlinjen beskylder regjeringen for å ikke gi dem nok midler:

So far this year, more girls have been caught carrying guns than in the whole of last year, with weapons including MAC10 machine-pistols. The weapons are capable of firing 1,000 rounds a minute and are known as «room-clearers». In a recent raid by police targeting violent youth crime, 25 females aged between 14 and 39 were arrested in connection with assaults, drug offences and carrying weapons.

Superintendent David Chinchen, who deals with youth violence, said: «Young women are being dragged into the fringes of male criminality and gangs. We are seeing more elements of violence from girls within gangs.» He also said that officers had seen signs of girls becoming involved in sexual violence. Plans are under way to increase home visits to the parents of girls who officials believe are becoming involved in gangs and serious violence.

Dr Pointing added: «These girls are very much second-class citizens within the gangs but they see it as normal. That’s the bit that is most disturbing.»

Timesonline: Girls accept gun running and rape as price of joining violent male gangs