- Producers did ‘dead drop’ of GoPro cameras away from CCTV coverage
- They received footage of drugs and loading a Smith & Wesson revolver
- Two youths involved in documentary have been murdered since filming
- Two-part series called Gangland begins on Channel 5 at 10pm tonight
By Mark Duell – @markdavidduell
Thursday 1st September 2016
Gangsters making more than £2,000 a day dealing drugs have revealed on camera how they spend their money on penthouses and luxury cars.
Jordy, a former member of the Woolwich Boys gang, was once living a glamorous life – but had been arrested by the end of the filming of the new documentary.
He said: ‘Everything got achieved. The cars got achieved. The b****es got achieved. I had everything you could want. I’m talking penthouses, Range Rovers, Mercs.’
The two-part series beginning tonight goes behind the scenes with gangs – and, shockingly, two youths involved have been murdered since it was filmed.
The producers managed to do a ‘dead drop’ of ten GoPro cameras away from CCTV coverage that a group of gang members then used to film themselves.
The first footage they received was of drugs and someone loading a Smith & Wesson revolver, before producers started leaving instructions and questions for them.
And the result is Channel 5’s Gangland, a documentary that claims to give unprecedented access to London’s most notorious young gangs.
Producer Paul Blake of Maroon Productions said his first attempt at the film had to be abandoned when a gang member was seriously wounded in a shooting.
And Mr Blake, who had a gun pulled on him during filming, told The Guardian he decided to give them cameras because they were so reluctant to be filmed.
He said: ‘They said: “We can’t show you stuff, we can’t sit down with a gun and show you that”. And then it just came to me that they could film it themselves.
‘I’ve always been a big fan of all the James Bond stuff, so we arranged a “dead drop”. We would leave the (GoPro) cameras there and then pick them up later.
‘The first thing we got back was footage of someone loading a Smith & Wesson revolver and some drugs. I thought “that’s quite good”.
The documentary follows young people exposed to murder, drugs, guns and knives on a daily basis – and speaks to some of them about their experiences.
The film also heard from a masked member of a London crew who told the camera: ‘My trigger finger’s got chicken pox – it’s itching, jumping, you get me?’
And there is also an explanation of ‘plugging’, which involves people stuffing drug-filled condoms into their bottom, plus close-up footage of the act.
Sephton Henry, a former gang member who now works with police officers and young people with the charity Gangsline, told MailOnline about the ‘crazy’ lifestyle.
He said: ‘If you’re 15 years old and you’ve got £500 in each pocket a day, you think you’re a man before your time. They’re the supplier even for their mum.
‘It’s a flashy lifestyle in the sense of when they’re driving all these top cars and that sort of thing, that would keep them kind of grounded in that sort of lifestyle.
‘So it’s very hard for someone like me to tell a young man whose earning thousands of pounds a day to stop it without something to fall back on.’
He added that the gang members’ motivation behind taking part in the documentary could be twofold, saying: ‘One thing would be to promote their gang.
‘To be the hardest gang and to scare people away from them. The other one would be for somebody to really realise how hard it is out here.
‘Even though they’d be glamorising it, to show you how it is. A lot of these young youth, they can’t articulate what’s going on.
‘What tends to happen is other people will (say) what they think is happening and it won’t be from the mouths of young men. They know it’s getting worse.’
Mr Henry continued: ‘They find something in that lifestyle that gives them something that they wouldn’t receive and they’re not receiving.
‘So you have to say what is it that they’re receiving? What I’ve studied is mostly it’s to do with rebelling because not being heard.
‘It’s not just they want to be heard, they want to have justice, so what will happen is they will rebel against society.’
Gangland: Turf Wars airs at 10pm tonight on Channel 5. The second episode of the two-part series, Gangland: Murder, will be broadcast at 10pm next Thursday.