The U.K.’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), have revealed how they use drill music videos and artists’ social media posting to help solve gang-related murders.
According to the head of the CPS, Director of Public Prosecutions Max Hill QC, while drill music is “not a crime,” music videos can be considered “admissible evidence for a jury to consider” if it sheds light on the “modus operandi of an attack.”
“Drill Music Is Not A Crime”
Hill continued, “Social media, mobile phone and drill music have been a massive recent change in crime over the last few years. The footprint a gang can leave now is massive, whether on social media or in drill music videos. Drill music is not a crime, it is meant to shock, so we cannot take it literally.”
The CPS claims videos will be used in cases where the suspects deny knowing each other despite appearing together in visuals for their music.
“However, we can use videos to show defendants – who say they do not know each other because there is no CCTV of them together and phones have been thrown away – actually do know each other because they appeared together in drill music videos,” Hill added.
Click here to read AllHipHop’s report: Is Drill Music Getting A Bad Rap?
The U.K. is increasingly citing music from the genre in prosecutions. According to a 2021 study, the BBC examined nearly 70 trials where rap and drill music was used in evidence. The findings revealed most cases were in the preceding two years, often involving rappers, with many featuring allegations of murder. The overwhelming majority of defendants in those cases were young black men and boys.
The move has caused “serious concerns” for senior academic and criminologist Dr. Mohammed Rahman. He claims specific descriptions “of violence or otherwise, is open to interpretation,” due to the “creativity behind drill.”
He explained to iNews: “Drill music has been around for 10 years. Have they been working on it since it emerged? What credentials do they have? How are they made aware of what the lyrics represent? How do they define that? It has more consequences than we can imagine.”
Max Hill made his remarks during a briefing at the CPS Serious Violence, Organised Crime and Exploitation Unit (SVOCE). The unit was established last year, focusing on gang-related violence and County Lines drugs gangs. The term is used to describe criminals who exploit children to deliver drugs into rural areas around the U.K.