UK drill music videos can now be used as evidence in court to link gang-affiliated suspects

Music videos from British drill artists can now be used as evidence in court, it has been reported.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced yesterday (June 24) that UK drill music videos can be submitted as ‘admissible evidence for jury consideration’ if they can link gang-affiliated suspects to crimes .

Max Hill, QC – the Director of Public Prosecutions – added that music videos can be used as a form of evidence if they help prove the ‘modus operandi’ of violent cases such as gang attacks.

By a Complex UK report, Hill said, “Drill music, by its very nature, is meant to shock, but that’s not a crime and you have to give it appropriate weight.” Which police officers, if any, are [telling the court] it’s: ‘I’ve listened to it several times, I can tell you what’s being said; I can make a suggestion about the drug referred to.

In January, the CPS announced it would review its guidelines on the use of drill lyrics as evidence against defendants in criminal trials. The CPS claimed at the time that there had yet to be any instances where drill music had been wrongly used as evidence. Defense attorneys and academics have raised concerns about the use of lyrics in the prosecution of drill artists.

Last July, the CPS launched the first-ever Serious Violence, Organized Crime and Exploitation (SVOCE) Unit to combat gang-related homicides, drug trafficking and street crime. The unit has used drill music lyrics as evidence in cases.

In a press release issued earlier this week, the CPS revealed that to date, five cases have used drill music lyrics as evidence. The release described drill music as “a type of hip-hop often featuring lyrics referencing drug dealing and street crime”.

“A darker side of this genre can see lyrics related to gang violence and threats to kill, which, if relevant to a case, can be part of the evidence,” the statement read.