Police officers in the United Kingdom have accused
record companies of signing rap artists to contracts that ban them from appearing
in antigun campaigns, resulting in a rise of gun culture in the U.K. The officers
also accused films and video games for the rise in crime.
"There is obviously commercial reluctance
on behalf of some people," Commander Alan Brown told the U.K.'s Independent
newspaper. Brown is the leader of Operation Trident, which targets black-on-black
"I suspect they are tightly controlled by
record companies who have them under contract."
Brown also took issue with such popular rap
acts in the UK as So Solid Crew, which has a history of violence at their shows.
Last year one of the group's front men, Asher D. was locked away for 18 months
for carrying a loaded gun. Two other members of the crew were arrested after
three separate incidences.
Most recently, Shane "Kaish" Neil,
23, was charged with possession of a firearm and ammunition, possession of illegal
drugs with intent to supply and supplying illegal drugs. When Neil appeared
in court, he broke down, wept several times and bowed his head during an hour-long
He was arrested Nov. 14 near London's Leicester
Square and has been in custody ever since; a judge denied him bail.
"There is a backdrop of music, literature
and behavior which reinforces the idea that possessing a firearm is OK, that
it will give you power or respect," said Commander Brown. "People
in the public eye have got to realize that if they are seen behaving in that
way it's going to have an impact."