UK Met Police Gangs Violence Matrix

Gangs Violence Matrix (GVM) is a controversial database of thousands of alleged street gang members developed and operated by London's Metropolitan Police Service ('Met Police'). 

Introduced in 2012, the GVM uses one or more algorithms to rank and categorise people included on the database, based on the risk each 'gang member' poses to others, and the extent to which the police and partner agencies interact with that person. 

Operator: Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)
Developer: Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)
Country: UK
Sector: Govt - police
Purpose: Predict gang violence risk
Technology: Ranking algorithm
Issue: Bias/discrimination - race, ethnicity, income, geography; Accuracy/reliability; Privacy
Transparency: Governance; Complaints/appeals; Black box

Risks and harms 🛑

The Gangs Violence Matrix has been criticised for being inaccurate, unfair, and discriminatory, as well as for exhibiting poor transparency.

Transparency 🙈

The GVM database has been shrouded in secrecy since it was quietly introduced in 2011. 

The Met does not inform people included on the database. Nor is there is any mechanism by which those included can discover what information is help about them, ask for their data to be reviewed or removed, or appeal against their inclusion. 

It is unclear whether the GVM is shared with other organisations. Reports indicate it is shared with other UK government departments, including immigration enforcement.

Legal, regulatory 👩🏼‍⚖️

Research, advocacy 🧮

Page info
Type: System
Published: February 2022
Last updated: May 2024