The Gang War of 2002 was a gang war in London between the Bethnal Green Mob, the Collins Gang, the Yardies and the Triads. The war was declared and planned by Charlie Jolson, who stirred up the carnage by using Mark Hammond to attack each gang simultaneously. Other key participants of the war were Jake Jolson and Frank Carter. The main war only lasted for a single day in 2002 but would have long lasting consequences for all involved.
Before the War
Charlie Jolson and the Bethnal Green Mob were the longest running gang operating in London. In the olden days, Charlie had run the city with gangsters like Ronnie and Reggie Kray. After their imprisonment, Charlie took over with his gang and the London he ran was one he desired to keep. Problems began arising for Charlie in the 1990's due to the arrival of other gangs within the city. Three other gangs emerged around this time period. Gangsters from Jamaica emigrated to the city along with Chinese gangsters. The Triads and the Yardies were then formed, with each gang occupying it's own turf within central London. Nick Collins, a younger and more modern gangster than Charlie, formed his gang around this time also, and started taking over Soho by getting involved in prostitution. This angered Charlie Jolson, as he felt he was no longer in command and the city was slowly falling apart from what he once remembered it. History had passed Charlie by and his London was one he no longer recognised. This instigated him to turn back the clock so it would be like the good old days.
Preparation for the War
All four gangs had never really got on, but they stayed out of each others way. Most were even unaware that Charlie was still in business as some believed he had retired from the gangster life altogether. In 2002, Charlie decided that it was time to wipe out each gang from the city, so he came up with a scheme to bring an end to them all. Wanting to avoid his own gang getting involved, Charlie decided to use Mark Hammond, an ex member of the Collins gang. Charlie knew Mark was a well trained gangster and decided to use him to stir up trouble. Mark was released from prison for an armed robbery in 2002. Two months after his release, Charlie instigated his plan. In order to get Mark to work for him, Charlie decided to kidnap his wife and son, so he could blackmail Mark into doing jobs for him. Charlie ordered the kidnapping of his wife, Suzie Hammond and his son Alex Hammond. He sent some of his heavies to carry out the job. It didn't go so well however and Suzie ended up getting killed in the attempted kidnapping. Alex however was taken away but Mark followed them to Charlie's warehouse. Mark however was ambushed at the warehouse and Charlie began to put his plan into place.
Charlie had arranged certain jobs that he wanted Mark to carry out in order to make his plan work. His plan was to use Mark to weaken each gang, cause carnage between the three other gangs and then hand Mark over to them on a boat he owned. Earning each gangs respect and trust by capturing the man responsible for causing them so many problems, Charlie would then lure them onto the boat in which he would plant a bomb. With each gang leader present, Charlie would flee the ship and blow them all up, eliminating his enemies from London once and for all and regaining complete control of the city.
Beginning of the War
Upon Mark's capture, Charlie kept his plan secret from him. All he told Mark was that he was going to do what he told him to do or else he would kill his son. Mark asked him why he was doing this but was not given a straight answer. First of all, Charlie had Mark hit his old gang, the Collins gang. Charlie ordered Mark to burn down Collins restaurant, The Republic. Mark carried out the order and killed a number of his old colleagues before burning the bar to the ground. Enraged at the attack, more gangsters arrived on scene, only to be gunned down or arrested by responding police led by Frank Carter. The Collins gang was furious and vowed to kill Mark for the attack.
Charlie then had Mark attack the Triads by stealing an expensive statue that he wished to possess. This particular attack was important for Charlie. He knew the Triads would recognise Mark as a Collins gangster and thus they would blame the Collins gang for the attack and think they were responsible. This would cause the Triads to retaliate against the Collins gang and stir up hatred. Mark was confused as to why Charlie wanted to start a war with the Triads, unaware that the Triads would in fact blame the Collins gang and himself only for the attack. Mark stole the statue and killed a number of Triads in the process. He was also recognised as a Collins gangster by Kum Dong, who informed his boss and leader of the Triads, Shan Chu Lee, that the Collins gang will pay for the insult.
Another unintentional cause of more gang warfare was when Charlie had corrupt cop Clive McCormack and his nephew Jake Jolson, discretely let Frank Carter know of a delivery taking place at St Saviour's dock. The delivery was a shipment being carried out by the Yardies. Charlie somehow knew of this shipment, presumably because he kept an eye on the Yardies activities. He believed that the Yardies would suspect the Triads as being responsible for leaking the information to the police, as the Triads worked the shipping warehouses. Frank questioned how Jake knew of this shipment but decided to investigate anyway. Upon arrival, he got into a shootout with the Yardies and backup SO19 units also helped. The shipment was captured and the Yardies who had been there were either killed or arrested. The Yardies wanted to know who was responsible and blamed the Triads for the leak.
Middle of the War
The Yardies retaliated against the Triads as they believed they had been responsible for the shipment leak. They sent a large group of men down to Chinatown where they engaged in a full on gang war. Chaos erupted and gangsters from both sides were massacred. Frank Carter attended to the urgent call with backup SO19 units and they managed to bring the scene under control. A large number of gangsters from both gangs were massacred however and all eventually were either killed or arrested.
This war wasn't enough for Charlie however. It's unknown whether it was Charlie's personal idea or not, or whether Jake himself came up with it, but Jake played a part in the next gang attack. The Bethnal Green Mob had kidnapped Triad Johnny Chai prior to the gang warfare. Jake beat him to death and had Mark drive the dead corpse over to Chinatown. He then told Mark he must drive him to Holywell Street where he and other Bethnal Green Mob gangsters would be waiting so they could all massacre the Triads together. Mark believed him and dropped off the dead body. He was chased by an army of Triads to Holywell Street. It was a setup however and the base actually belonged to the Yardies. As such, another war took place between the Triads and Yardies, with Mark Hammond right in the middle and being attacked from both sides by each gang.