Drill gang jailed for plotting machete attack on rivals are BANNED from making music glorifying violence and must tell police about new videos and performances in landmark ruling
- Judge banned the five young men from mentioning death or injury in their songs
- The gang members who are part of the 1011 drill music group from Notting Hill
- Head of Trident denied banning orders were censorship, adding they are needed to stop music meant ‘to goad, to incite, to provoke, to inflame’ violence
A drill gang jailed for plotting to attack a group of rivals with machetes and knives have been banned from making music that glorifies violence.
In what is believed to be the first order of its kind, a judge banned the five young men from mentioning death or injury in their songs or on social media.
They must now inform police before they record or perform songs.
The 1011 gang (pictured in the music video for their track ‘No Hook’) have been banned from mentioning death or violence in their songs
The gang members who are part of the 1011 drill music group – once feted by former Radio 1 DJ Tim Westwood – have had millions of views on YouTube with tracks in the genre linked to a rise in violent crime.
Rhys Herbert, 17, Micah Bedeau, 18, his younger brother Jordan, 17, Yonas Girma, 21, and Isaac Marshall, 18, were caught red-handed as they set out to attack their rivals armed with machetes and baseball bats last November.
The notorious Notting Hill gang claimed that the weapons were just props for a music video they were making, but admitted conspiracy to commit violent disorder halfway through their trial at Kingston Crown Court.
Recorder Ann Mulligan, sitting at Kingston Crown Court, issued the three-year criminal behaviour orders (CBO) applied for by the Metropolitan Police’s Trident gang unit after the men were locked up for conspiracy to commit violent disorder.
Micah Bedeau, left, and Yonas Girma, right were issued with three-year criminal behaviour orders
Isaac Marshal, right, was also part of the gang, which made drill videos (pictured, left, Girma in the video for ‘Next Up’)
Detective Chief Superintendent Kevin Southworth, head of Trident, denied the criminal behaviour orders are censorship and said they are necessary for the genre used ‘to goad, to incite, to provoke, to inflame’ violence.
‘We believe this to be one of the first times, if not the first time, we have succeeded in gaining criminal behaviour orders that take such detailed and firm measures to restrict the actions of a gang who blatantly glorified violence through the music they created,’ he said.
What is drill music and how is it fuelling London’s crime wave?
‘Drill’ music, a hip-hop subgenre, is driving the feuding gang war in London, community leaders have warned.
Hundreds of videos on YouTube feature UK rappers threatening and provoking people from rival areas.
To ‘drill’ means to fight or scrap and the violent lyrics focus on gang life, drugs, guns and killing.
In one video viewed nearly three million times, rapper Digga D boasts about having to bleach his knife after using it to attack someone.
In another, entitled ‘Mummy’s Kitchen’, rappers Loski and Mayski, who are thought to be Londoners, boast about taking a blade from the family home.
In the videos, which are filmed across the city, performers take care to ensure their faces are covered.
The link with fatal attacks committed against young Londoners is made clear under the videos on YouTube, where commentators speculate about which groups were responsible.
‘We’re not in the business of killing anyone’s fun, we’re not in the business of killing anyone’s artistic expression – we are in the business of stopping people being killed.
‘This isn’t about us straying into the area of regulation or censorship – we are not trying to ban anyone from making music nor are we demonising any one type of music – but the public rightly expect us to take action in a case such as this where a line has very clearly been crossed and the safety of individuals is put at risk.’
A Met spokeswoman added the orders are ‘increasingly’ being considered against gang members who produce drill music.
Police have connected the sub-genre of rap music – which features masked or hooded groups describing guns, drugs and stabbings – with a spike violent crime in the capital.
The orders state that, on social media and in music videos and performances, the men must not encourage violence, mention named postcodes in a gang context, or make reference to the death of Teewiz – the nickname of 19-year-old Abdullahi Tarabi, who was fatally stabbed in west London.
They must also notify police within 24 hours of releasing new videos and give 48 hours warning of the date and location of any performance or recording and permit officers to attend.
Freedom of expression campaigners criticised the move.
Index on Censorship chief executive Jodie Ginsberg said: ‘Banning a kind of music is not the way to handle ideas or opinions that are distasteful or disturbing.
These machetes were recovered by police after they apprehended the thugs preparing to attack another gang
The car contained weapons and it is believed that they were preparing to retaliate over threats made to a grandmother
Bedeau fled to a block of flats and was detained in a communal hallway before police found these knives
‘This isn’t going to address the issues that lead to the creation of this kind of music, nor should we be creating a precedent in which certain forms of art which include violent images or ideas are banned.
‘We need to tackle actual violence, not ideas and opinions.’
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick has blamed social media for fuelling a surge in murders in London.
She singled out drill music, revealing that Scotland Yard has a database of more than 1,400 videos and has asked YouTube to remove up to 60 of them in the past two years.
Micah Bedeau covers his face in the ‘No Hook’ video – in which the gang celebrate stabbing and shooting rivals
After an investigation into their music and social media accounts, the men hit with the ban were arrested on November 9 in Colville Square, Notting Hill.
They were armed with four large machetes, baseball bats, masks, balaclavas and gloves.
The defendants claimed they were about to make a music video but police suspected they were planning an attack on rival group, 12 World.
The judge said their arrests averted a ‘very serious violent incident’ between two gangs.
They admitted the lesser charge having denied counts of conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm with intent.
Girma, of Hounslow Road, Hanworth; Marshall, of Ladbroke Grove; Herbert, of Lonsdale Road, Notting Hill; and brothers Jordan and Micah Bedeau, of Colville Square, are serving jail or detention sentences for between 10 months and three-and-a-half years.
Lyrics by the jailed ‘drill’ gang
Song ‘No Hook’ – included the sounds of gunshots
‘Clock me an opp (opposing gang member), wind down the window, back (get) out the spinner (revolver) and burst (shoot) him.
‘I put bullets in numerous guys like how come the opps ain’t learning?
‘OT trip (out of town or county line) trying to get some funds (money). We get bread (money) and invest in guns. Dem boy run when we tapped **** Ching (stab) Splash (stab) aim for his lungs.
‘Man lurky (creeping around with intent) that’s standard. That’s gang that’s gang. Four men on two peds (mopeds) jump off with my shank (knife) leave an opp (rival gang member) boy splattered (covered in blood).’
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