Peckham Boys

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Peckham Boys
Founded 1990s (Although periodically replaced since the 1970s)
Founding location Peckham, South London, England
Years active 1990s to present
Territory Peckham (SE15), Walworth (SE17), Camberwell (SE5)
Criminal activities Murder, Drug trafficking, Robbery, Attempted Murder
Rivals Ghetto Boys, GAS Gang, OC

The Peckham Boys, also referred to as Black Gang,[1] are a gang based in Peckham, South London.[2][3] In 2011, Southwark Council identified three sets of the Peckham Boys, PYGMG and SN1, as the most active gangs in the Peckham area.[4]


Mid 2000s: peak conflict with the Ghetto Boys[edit]

In October 2004, the Peckham Boys and Ghetto Boys had an infamous shootout outside the Urban Music Awards, held in the Barbican Centre, London. During the shootout at least 18[5] shots were exchanged. One stray shot hit an innocent by-stander, Helen Kelly. The underwire of her bra deflected the bullet, preventing fatal injury.[6] Linton Ambursley from Lewisham, a Ghetto Boys member, was jailed for 12 years after admitting wounding with intent.[7]

On 17 September 2006, a man was shot and stabbed to death on the Woodpecker Estate in New Cross by the Peckham Boys, after being mistaken for a member of the Ghetto Boys. He was attacked by a group of approximately 30 Peckham Boys, who had travelled to New Cross on bicycles.[8] As of 2010 the murder remains unsolved, as do 5 other recent murders on the Woodpecker Estate.[9] That same night, a man was chased in Deptford by approximately 30-40 youths before being stabbed, but survived.[10]

In November 2006, the Peckham Boys made it into the list of Time Out Magazine's top 100 'Movers and Shakers' for the year 2006.[11] It is a list of the most influential groups or organisations in London.[12]

Late 2000s[edit]

In September 2007, a leader of the Peckham Boys, Raver, was jailed after being found in possession of a Mac 10 sub-machine gun, three handguns, two silencers, 379 rounds of ammunition, 60,000 fake ecstasy pills, 10 ounces of cannabis and thousands of pounds-worth of cocaine.[13]

In October 2008, during an exchange of shots between a member of the Ghetto Boys and a Peckham Boys member, Polish care worker Magda Pniewska was hit by a stray bullet and died. The shootout occurred in New Cross.[14]

In September 2008, police conducted dawn raids on suspected members of the Peckham Boys gang. It is believed that the group conducted 120 robberies in what police have called a "prolific" criminal enterprise. The gang are believed to have used knives, machetes, crowbars, guns and heavy screwdrivers to ensure that their operations were successful. Those arrested were between their mid-20s and mid-30s.[15][16]

In July 2009, a 13-year-old boy was stabbed five times in Camberwell by the OC (Organised Crime) Gang, in a street battle with the PYG Gang from Peckham.[17]

In September 2009, a member of the Brixton-based OC gang was jailed for shooting a bystander dead, when attempting to murder two youths from the PYG gang. The attack was in retaliation for an incident earlier that day, in which an OC member was shot by PYG.[18]

Early 2010s[edit]

In August 2010, the Metropolitan Police announced that they had convicted several members of the Shoot Instant Gang (an offshoot of the Peckham Boys), on charges of dealing class A drugs. The convictions were a result of a raid on Southwark-based gang members, in which a total of 80 people were arrested.[19]

On 6 September 2010, a member of the Peckham Boys, George Ogaba aka Taz (Young Taz/ G.O), was killed after his motorcycle was rammed by a car in Peckham. His death followed an earlier non-fatal shooting on the Lettsom Estate in Camberwell.[20] Hours later, Rio McFarlane was visiting a makeshift shrine for George, when he was murdered in a drive-by shooting. Rio McFarlane was friends with the footballer Rio Ferdinand.[21][22]

In December 2010, 17-year-old Sylvester Akapalara was shot dead on the Pelican Estate in Peckham. Akapalara was caught up in a claimed gang related dispute.[23]

In April 2011, a member of the Peckham Boys, 'Kyze' and 'JJ', was jailed for shooting a rival in the arm with a glock pistol. The individual is said to have links with the rapper Giggs.[24]

In July 2011, a member of the Peckham Boys was jailed for a minimum of 32 years for arranging an execution from his prison cell.[20] Ola Apena, linked to the 'Shoot Instant' branch of the Peckham Boys,[21] arranged the execution-style murder and burning of teenager Samuel Ogunro in 2010, to prevent him from snitching.

In February 2012, three members of the Peckham Boys received life imprisonment for the murder of 18-year-old Daniel Graham in East Dulwich. The victim was stabbed 24 times by the GMG set of the gang, on a main road in full view of passengers on a 176 bus and passing traffic. It is rumored they have since been released as "YR" released a song called "Jail Pain" on the 10th November 2013, which shows all three members together; in "Jail Pain" he makes references to all three getting 86 years in total.[25]

In February 2012, a member of the SN1 set of the Peckham Boys was jailed for 8 years, for causing over £1 million worth of damage during the 2011 London riots.[26]

In May 2012, two members of the GMG set of the Peckham Boys were jailed for life, for the murder of 17-year-old athlete Sylvester Akapalara and attempted murder of two others. The GMG gang also warned Peckham residents against snitching.[27]

In April 2014, a man was sentenced to a minimum of 35 years in prison for the shooting of Rio MacFarlane in Peckham. The victim was an innocent bystander in a shootout between the Peckham Young Guns (PYG) and Lettsom Boys.[28]


  1. ^ Blunden, Mark (3 March 2011). "Teenager served with gang Asbo 'is planning human rights appeal". Evening Standard. London. Retrieved 13 March 2011. 
  2. ^ Laville, Sandra (10 August 2006). "Brothers who terrorised streets since age of 10 and 11". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 22 May 2010. 
  3. ^ Bowcott, Owen (4 March 2011). "Council seeks more 'gang injunctions'". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 13 March 2011. Local gangs such as the Pecksg Boys, alternatively known as SN1 (Spare No One), have broken into smaller groups. 
  4. ^ "Gang Injunctions - are they up to the job?". Local Government Lawyer. Retrieved 20 October 2011. 
  5. ^ "18 shots fired in Barbican gang fight | News". Retrieved 2010-08-10. 
  6. ^ Woman saved when bra stops bullet
  7. ^ Ashford, Ben (9 May 2007). "Shot Billy had a gun too". The Sun. London. 
  8. ^ Bennetto, Jason (23 September 2006). "Gang war returns to streets where Damilola died". The Independent. London. Retrieved 22 May 2010. 
  9. ^ "NEW CROSS: Mother speaks out over Woodpecker estate unsolved murders (From News Shopper)". Retrieved 2010-08-10. 
  10. ^ "Five arrested over stabbing murder (From News Shopper)". 2006-09-20. Retrieved 2010-08-10. 
  11. ^ "London's 100 top movers and shakers 2006". Retrieved 2010-08-10. 
  12. ^ "London's 100 top movers and shakers 2006". Retrieved 2010-08-10. 
  13. ^ "Peckham gang leader faces jail". Thisislondon. 12-09-2007. Retrieved 2010-01-28.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  14. ^ Sullivan, Mike (12-09-2007). "Gang crossfire kills nurse". London: The Sun. Retrieved 2010-08-19.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  15. ^ Laville, Sandra (24 September 2008). "Seven held in swoop on armed robbery suspects". The Observer. London. 
  16. ^ Singh, Rob (23 September 2008). "Seven held in swoop on Peckham Boys gang". Evening Standard. 
  17. ^ "'Kidnappers' stab boy, 13, five times". 2009-07-30. Retrieved 2010-11-17. 
  18. ^ "Teenage gunman jailed for 32 years for killing innocent student at Costcutter | Mail Online". London: 2009-09-29. Retrieved 2010-08-10. Mr Atkinson said: 'The OC gang had to respond in order to maintain their credibility. 'This gang revenge attack brought about Ryan's death.' Later five OC gang members on three mopeds chased two PYG members down Camberwell Road. 
  19. ^ Davenport, Robert (6 August 2010). "80 arrests in raids on Southwark gangs". Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 1 December 2010. After one operation 49 people were charged with 212 offences, mostly involving Class-A drugs. Twenty-six people have been convicted of drug-related offences — with some receiving jail sentences — and others are awaiting trial. Some of those convicted were members of the Shoot Instant Gang, an offshoot of the Peckham Boys. 
  20. ^ a b Moore-Bridger, Benedict (10 September 2010). "Footballer in drive-by attack was victim of 'post-code war'". Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 1 December 2010.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "ES_20100912" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  21. ^ a b "Footballer in fatal shooting plea". BBC. 17 September 2010. Archived from the original on 1 December 2010. Retrieved 1 December 2010.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "BBC20100917" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  22. ^ "Rio Ferdinand grief over shot pal". News of the World. 12 September 2010. 
  23. ^ Chandler, Mark (20 October 2011). "Teenage athlete Sylvester Akapalara 'hunted down and shot by gang' in Peckham". News Shopper. 
  24. ^ "Gangster who called himself 'the number one hitman' jailed over gun violence". Evening Standard. 18 April 2011. 
  25. ^ "Gang members get life terms for East Dulwich bus murder". BBC News. 16 February 2012. Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  26. ^ "Cross-eyed Peckham riots arsonist Andrew Burls jailed for eight years". The Metro. 20 February 2012. Retrieved 5 March 2012. 
  27. ^ "'Snitch and we'll come for you' Peckham gang GMG's chilling warning to locals after gunning down innocent teen". Evening Standard. 31 May 2012. Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
  28. ^ "Facing life: drug dealer who shot dead family friend of England star Rio Ferdinand". Evening Standard. 1 April 2014. Retrieved 1 April 2014. 

External links[edit]

  • [1] Just another day of gang warfare in Peckham
  • [2] Tale of the untouchables
  • [3] The Peckham Boy Story
  • London Street Gangs London gangs resource website