Police list of suspected gang members in Newham is leaked on social media

PUBLISHED: 15:25 09 November 2018 | UPDATED: 15:54 09 November 2018

Corey Junior Davis, who was on the Gang Matrix, was shot dead in Forest Gate last year. Pic: Family handout

Corey Junior Davis, who was on the Gang Matrix, was shot dead in Forest Gate last year. Pic: Family handout

Davis family

The names of young people suspected by police of having gang links in the borough has been leaked by an ‘unknown professional’ in Newham.

Newham mayor Cllr Rokhsana Fiaz. Pic: Ken MearsNewham mayor Cllr Rokhsana Fiaz. Pic: Ken Mears

Experts say hundreds of young people were placed in serious danger when pages from the Met’s Gangs Matrix were “lost” on two separate occasions, photographed and circulated on social media.

It is understood that a page from the top secret document was leaked in May and further information was again shared in September last year.

The Information Commissioner is now investigating the data breach.

The Met has refused to confirm how many identities were revealed, saying only that officers had “risk assessed every individual on the list and taken appropriate action where necessary.”

Corey Junior DavisCorey Junior Davis

Sheldon Thomas, a former gang member and founder of training organisation Gangsline, said: “Hundreds of lives have potentially been put at risk.

“It is dangerous for a young person if their name is attached to a gang like that. Rival gangs could see it and say ‘I didn’t know so and so was running with them, let’s sort them out’.

“Someone should have lost their job.”

The Matrix was set up in the wake of the 2011 London riots and contains information on around 3,800 people, including their believed affiliations and a “harm score” of green, amber or red, to denote how deeply they are considered to be engaged in gang-related activities.

Newham mayor Cllr Rokhsana Fiaz. Pic: Ken MearsNewham mayor Cllr Rokhsana Fiaz. Pic: Ken Mears

The data breach was revealed in a report into failings which led to the gangland murder of 14-year-old Corey Junior Davis, who was shot in the head in a playground in Forest Gate last September.

Corey was first listed on Newham’s Gangs Matrix in December 2016 as a “green nominal” because authorities believed he was “easily influenced” and “associating with troublemakers”. Seven months later he was raised to amber.

The independent report found pages of the January 2017 Newham Matrix were “shared on social media and accessed by a number of young people” before Corey’s death.

Investigators said there was “no evidence to suggest a causal link between the data breach and Corey’s murder” but added “it is acknowledged there are lessons to be learned”.

Tanya O’Carroll, lead researcher on Amnesty International’s report into the Matrix said the data breach was “shocking but not surprising”.

She said: “A lot of the young people on the list will be in the green category and may not have had much interaction with police. Of course a leak like this puts them in serious danger.

“It’s not just the danger of physical harm. If someone sees that a person is on a gangs list that tarnishes them.”

A criminal investigation into how the information came into the public domain was “inconclusive”, a Met spokesman said.

He added: “Police have risk assessed every individual on the list and taken appropriate action where necessary.

“The Met has also reviewed its local data sharing practices as a result of this investigation.”

James Dipple-Johnstone, deputy commissioner for operations at the Information Commissioner’s Office, said it was working with police “as part of an investigation into their use of a ‘gang database’.”

City Hall is also reviewing the Met’s use of the Gangs Matrix.

Amnesty claimed in May that the intelligence database was “racially discriminatory” in a report which revealed that 78 per cent of those named were black males, and more than a third had committed no serious crimes

The Met said the matrix helped “prevent young lives being lost”.

Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Sophie Linden, said the review “should be completed before the end of the year”.

Mayor of Newham Rokhasana Fiaz added: “The review outlined a number of changes in both practice and protocol which have since been implemented and these include changes made to the information shared relating to the Gangs Matrix. We adhere to the Data Protection Act and work to ensure all data is protected and held securely.”

Latest Newham Stories

Yesterday, 18:00

With a month to go until the Tissot UCI Track Cycling World Cup returns to the Lee Valley Velopark in Stratford, the Great Britain squad for the next round in Berlin has been announced.

Yesterday, 16:40

Lakeside Hammers will not be running in the 2019 speedway season after the BSPA revealed plans for next season after hosting their annual AGM.

National League
Yesterday, 19:00

A police officer who assaulted a seller after trying to steal a pair of £200 headphones while drunk has been sacked.

Yesterday, 19:00

A police sergeant who drunkenly tried to steal a set of headphones, slapped his victim and then brandished his badge to scare him off seeking help has been fired from the force.

Metropolitan Police
Yesterday, 12:00

The O’s boss discussed Garry Hill’s return to management and backed his predecessor Daryl McMahon to find work sooner rather than later

Justin Edinburgh
Yesterday, 16:00

Texts from the phone of a teenager on trial for the murder of a 17-year-old describe him being “held up” on the evening of the killing, a court heart today.

Yesterday, 16:00

West Ham footballer Robert Snodgrass has donated £3,000 to help four-year-old Isla Caton from Hornchurch who has a rare form of cancer.

Yesterday, 13:47

Police, paramedics and London’s Air Ambulance scrambled to help a woman who fell into a marina in Royal Docks.

London Ambulance Service


Have you spent time as an unpaid carer? If you are over the age of 25 and living in Newham, the Working for Carers scheme can help you take the first steps back to employment.

Hanson Fernandes’ journey began in 2015 when he arrived in London from Goa, India.

Newsletter Sign Up

Newham Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Newham Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now