Review of the MPS Gangs Matrix
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has published a wide-ranging Review of the Metropolitan Police Service Gangs Matrix, which recommends a comprehensive overhaul of the database to restore trust in its use and ensure it is used both lawfully and proportionately.
The Gangs Matrix was set up in the aftermath of the 2011 riots by the MPS to identify those at risk of committing, or being a victim of, gang-related violence in London. The Matrix has proved controversial due to issues in the way individuals are added and, when they are removed, the way data is stored securely and applied consistently. Concerns have also been raised that it leads to discrimination against certain communities, resulting in mistrust of the police and rising tensions.
The Review, which fulfils a commitment in the Mayor’s Police and Crime Plan, includes detailed analysis of more than 7,000 people who have been on the Gangs Matrix, together with surveys of frontline police officers, local authority staff and those in communities directly affected by violence.
- makes nine recommendations, including investigation into whether a disproportionate number of young black men on the Matrix is legitimate;
- calls for a comprehensive overhaul of Matrix processes and oversight, to be completed by the end of 2019 and for the Matrix to be subject to annual reviews to ensure it is operating effectively;
- recognises the Gangs Matrix has a positive impact on reducing offending or being a victim of violence.