The Observer explores the brutal reality behind the recent spate of killings involving young teenagers in Britain. Cries of anarchy from the opposition Tories play to a frightened public scared of what they are seeing on their television sets – the latest atrocity being eleven year old Rhys Jones who was caught in the cross fire of a gang war. Yet the outcry smacks of populism at a time when a level head is needed. These young victims and perpetrators are at the sharp end, the go-betweens and runners, the visible part of a largely unreported war that involves gun running, drug smuggling, bogus security firms running protection rackets and front companies that hide illegal activity. The kids are the ones at the bottom of a chain that is essentially a turf battle for who gets to deal what and where. Adults are playing this game – they control the bogus massage parlours and the security firms behind which the real bosses operate – and thus adults are to blame. The young ones, even the gang members, are the victims. Politicians must remember that.