ROSS KEMP: MORE GANGS IN LONDON (SPECIAL) 2 OF 3
-Q & A-
For anybody who hasn’t seen the show, can you sum up Ross Kemp on Gangs?
I go with a cameraman, a soundman and a translator to meet various gangs around the world, where I interview them. I look at the country, the policing of the country and sometimes the government of the country to try and find out why the gang exists and what its motives are.
Where does your interest in gang culture stem from?
I met a guy four years ago who was in the Bloods; he was a very bright man and he’d been shot 26
times and survived. He was eloquent about his situation, and I thought that if there’s anyone else out there that’s as bright as him, then maybe they should have a voice.
Which is the scariest/toughest gang you’ve encountered?
El Salvador's MS13 were probably the most organised and scariest gang that I’ve ever met.
What’s the hairiest situation you’ve been in?
Interviewing John Mongrel in the South African prison, and seeing the girls removing makeup and
exposing tattoos is a memorable moment for me in El Salvador. When I was in Moscow they set fire to
me and hit me with a ball-bearing gun, but that wasn’t scary.
How do you go about building relationships with these people?
We talk about the mundane things in life and through that you end up winning their trust, having a laugh with them; For instance, the El Salvadorians have a very similar humour to us. They know their country is in a mess, they know that there are two types of weather, mud and dust, and they make jokes against themselves and about their country.
Do you think that gang culture will ever be eradicated?
I wouldn’t have thought so. I think it’s inherent in us from time immemorial to group together, particularly when we feel vulnerable.