Burger Bar Boys and Johnson Crew members barred from city in UK's biggest ever gang injunction
All 18 have been barred from mixing with each other both inside and outside prison after West Midlands Police and council chiefs secured the biggest gang injunction ever issued in the UK.
Birmingham city council’s equality boss Tristan Chatfield described the city as a trailblazer for securing the powers and said he now expected others to follow suit.
The strict orders ban the men all aged between 19 and 29, from posting pictures and videos about gangs on social media sites, including Facebook, Youtube, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter.
The Peaky Blinders were a criminal gang based in Birmingham, England, in the late 19th century and, to a lesser extent, in the early 20th century. Philip Gooderson, author of The Gangs of Birmingham, states that the Peaky Blinders originated as a specific gang, but the term later became a generic label. An earlier gang known as the Cheapside Sloggers had evolved in the 1870s, and the term "Sloggers" (meaning fighters) had already become a generic local label for street gangs when the Peaky Blinders emerged at the end of the century in Adderley Street, in the Bordesley and Small Heath areas, which was an extremely deprived slum section of Birmingham at the time. The Peaky Blinders were distinguished by their sartorial style, unlike earlier gangs. Notable members included David Taylor (imprisoned for carrying a gun at 13 years old), "baby-faced" Harry Fowles, Ernest Haynes and Stephen McNickle.
Early in the 20th century, one of the Birmingham gangs known as the Brummagem Boys (Brummagem being slang for Birmingham) began to spread their criminal network from the streets of Birmingham to around the country. Helped by greatly improved transport, for the first time, regional gangs were able to expand beyond the streets that bred them. The new connecting railway between Birmingham and London meant they could target the racecourse riches of the country's capital.
Following the Handsworth riots in 1985, young people banded together in groups which soon turned to petty crime and robbery. By the late 1980s, the Johnson Crew, named after their Johnsons Café hang-out, controlled the drugs market and nightclub security across a large area of Birmingham.
After a fall-out between members of the Johnson Crew, the Burger Bar Boys formed, taking their name from a Soho Road fast-food joint. This began a violent feud between the Johnsons and the Burger Bar Boys, which was resolved in a truce instigated by Matthias "Shabba" Thompson in 2010, with assistance from documentary maker Penny Woolcock. The process of forming the truce was captured in the Channel 4 documentary, One Mile Away. Following the truce, violent crime fell by 50% in the B6 postcode area and 30% in B21.
The increasingly collaborative relationship between the two gangs has led to some in the media describing them as more akin to a 'super gang', seeking to establish a greater national network of organised crime rather than controlling their post-code areas.Other reports suggest both gangs are effectively inactive, and there is no 'super gang'.