Gang members have “entrepreneurial zeal” that should be harnessed correctly, the ever vocal shadow business secretary, Chuka Umunna, will argue in a speech at Westminster today.
According to the London Evening Standard, the MP for Streatham will argue that gang members display business acumen that must be channelled. He will argue that the way in which gangs build their own brands is an example of this.
Mr Umunna, who is Chair of the London Gangs Forum, will say: “Make no mistake: at the heart of these gangs activities are criminality and very serious violence.
“But if one studies what Lambeth’s gangs do in more detail, it is both shocking and frustrating – they put a lot of effort into building up their gang’s brand.
“You can find music videos they produce to promote their activities on YouTube. This brand building is shocking because it glamorises what they do.
“What frustrates me is many of these young people are using skills that if channelled in the right way, would provide them with an alternative route to success.”
He will add: “In Lambeth, too much of this entrepreneurial instinct is being channelled into totally the wrong thing.
“Their entrepreneurial zeal, used in a legitimate business setting, could provide them with a ladder up.
“We must make legitimate business a more feasible avenue through which our young people can realise their dreams even when all else may have failed them.”