- "Explain. Fuckin' explain! I should hope you can for your sake, son. You've got quite a few people here who would like some serious words with you!"
- ―Nick Collins
Nick is the leader of the Soho based Collins gang. He had a younger brother called Jimmer Collins, who acted as his second-in-command. Nick owns numerous bars throughout Soho, two of which are called: The Republic and Touch of Class. Nick is involved in the porn industry and the gang is also known to use skimming machines. Nick and his gang were key participants in the Gang War of 2002.
The Collins Gang Leader
Slick Nick epitomises the modern business ethic of 'work hard, play harder'. The Collins Gang controls Soho's bars and are the only modern crew that has come near to the former notoriety of Charlie's Bethnal Green Mob.
Nick Collins was born in the early 1960's. He founded the Collins Gang in the late 1980's, being disgusted with the way Charlie Jolson and the Bethnal Green Mob was running London. Nick believed that he had better ideas than Jolson would ever have. In the early 1990's, Mark Hammond joined the Collins gang and became friends with Nick.
In 1997, Mark was given a five year sentence for an armed robbery. This arrest would ultimately lead to Mark retiring from the gangster lifestyle altogether, something which Nick would accept but no be too pleased about.
In 2001, Nick's younger brother, Jimmer Collins, was arrested by an SO19 firearms officer called Ben Mitchell. Jimmer was arrested and sentenced to three years in prison, with his release date not due until 2004. This left Nick to take care of the gang alone.
By 2002, Nick Collins was in control of the Soho area of London. The Collins Gang owned the bars in Soho, such as the Republic and A Touch of Class. Nick and his gang were considered to be one of most powerful gangs in London. The Collins Gang were determined to be a thorn in Charlie Jolson's side who they believed had retired. When Mark was released in 2002, he chose to go straight and therefore did not return to the Collins Gang. Nick accepted this, but was reluctant for Mark to hang around Soho much. The doorman to The Republic refuses to let Mark inside when he first arrives, indicating he wasn't welcome around Soho.
One morning, Nick's bar, The Republic, came under attack by his former comrade, Mark Hammond. Mark shot all of the gangsters inside and set the bar on fire causing its destruction. Nick believed Mark had went psycho and vowed to kill him for this insult. However, Nick was unaware that Charlie Jolson had kidnapped Mark's son Alex and had forced him to attack the Republic for the sake of his son's life. After the Republic incident, Nick's lieutenant Liam Spencer received a phone call from Mark. Liam, like Nick was annoyed at Mark for attacking his gang, but Mark explained that Charlie Jolson had kidnapped Alex and then blackmailed Mark into destroying the Republic. This got Liam on Mark's side.
Later, Mark caused more trouble for Nick when he invaded Nick's strip club with Yasmin in order to find Layla. Layla was a stripper who had previously belonged to Charlie but had been hired by Nick. Unfortunately, Layla was killed in the crossfire along with the Collins Gang members who were in the club at the time. Shortly after this, Nick received a phone call from his enemy Charlie Jolson. Charlie told Nick that he had kidnapped Mark Hammond and offered Nick a meeting at his boat the Sol Vita in order to confront Mark. Although Nick disliked Charlie, he hated Mark more at this point and accepted Charlie's offer. Of course, Nick did not trust Charlie and therefore ignored his request about not bringing heavies.
Nick arrived at the Sol Vita along with Liam and most, if not all, of his gang. Once on board, a huge fight erupted between the Bethnal Green Mob, the Collins Gang, the Triads and the Yardies. Nick knew that Charlie had played him for a fool and along with Liam, found Charlie trying to sneak of the boat. Nick and Liam held Charlie at gunpoint.They found Mark in the room with the bomb along with Yasmin, Alex and Frank Carter. Nick ordered Mark and Frank to drop their weapons. As the most powerful gangster on the ship, Nick took control of the situation. He stated how angry he was and threatened to kill more people if someone did not tell him what had been going on. Mark attempted to talk to Nick but Nick exploded with fury and tried to kill Mark. Liam had to reason with Nick and told him that surely he should not believe someone like Charlie Jolson. Just then the Yardies arrived, followed by the Triads. They were equally as angry as Nick, and wanted to kill Mark. Mark tried again to talk to Nick, as well as the Triads and Yardies asking them to release Alex, and that he would take what is coming. Nick agreed to listen. Mark told Nick that Charlie was responsible for Suzie's death and Alex's kidnapping and then blackmailed Mark into hitting the three other gangs. Charlie tried to defend himself by saying that Mark went on a mad rampage which he started by killed Suzie. Charlie also claimed that he only took Alex in for his respect for Suzie. Frank then intervened and told the gangs that Charlie's true intentions were to lure the gangs to the ship in order to blow them all up with his bomb.
Upon hearing this, Nick angrily called Charlie a "fucking dinosaur" and told him that his era was about to end. Nick decided to let Mark go along with Yasmin and Alex. However, Nick did not condone Mark for killing his men and only allowed to let Mark live if he promised to leave London for good. Nick had to reason with the Triads and Yardies in order for them to agree with him to let Mark go. Shan Chu Lee, the leader of the Triads, wasn't happy about this, but agreed as long as they were allowed to ask Nick for a favour in return when the time came. Although reluctant, Jamahl agreed with Nick in order to avoid another gang war. Before Yasmin left, she moved Nick aside to say goodbye to Charlie. With Mark, Yasmin and Alex out the way, Nick wanted to kill Charlie. As he was leaving, Mark asked Nick if he would also release Frank but Nick refused as Frank was a cop and he cannot have the police knowing his business. Frank did not care as he believed it would be a dishonour to be spared by criminals.
- "Fucking Soho Boys. Nothing for two years. Not since Nick Collins died. And now they're selling coke on Yardies turf."
- ―Jack Harvey on the death of Nick Collins
Nick met his death on board the Sol Vita. Before Nick got the chance to kill Charlie, the latter started to go mad. Charlie insulted the gangs and decided to take everyone down with him. He took the detonator out his pocket and pressed it in order to carry out what he had originally intended. Nick shouted for someone to shoot Charlie, but Frank stopped Nick because if Charlie released the button, the bomb would instantly explode. In the chaos, Nick tried to escape. Most of his gang, including Liam, escaped, but unfortunately Nick did not and was killed in the explosion. It is never revealed how Nick managed to lose sight of his close friend Liam on board the Sol Vita as they were both next to each other when on board the ship during the showdown with Charlie Jolson. It is likely that they both lost sight of each other amidst the fighting and mayhem that took place after Charlie had detonated the bomb. Nick is last seen on screen standing in between Liam Spencer and Frank Carter while listening to Charlie Jolson verbally abusing all of the gangs.
After his death, Nick's brother Jimmer Collins stepped in to run his gang. Two years after Nick's death, his gang have gone down hill. Jimmer had started a turf war with the Yardies and also attracted attention from the Thieves in Law. After Jimmer was murdered by the Thieves in Law, the Collins gang were terminated. It is never stated if there were any other Collins brothers or relatives other than Nick and Jimmer. If Nick and Jimmer are the only Collins brothers then the Collins Crew would have most definitely been eliminated for good.
The Printing Works business, as seen in The Getaway: Black Monday, was an idea of Nick Collins when he was the leader of the Collins gang. This is mentioned by a prostitute who works at Hector's Place.
Nick believes in the modern business ethic of 'work hard, play harder'. Nick has always believed that London is multi cultural. He is, however, a ruthless man. Running a criminal gang, Nick is not shy about killing when necessary. He hates police officers, referring to them as "the filth". Nick has a violent temper. This is evident when he exploded with rage when he initially confronted Mark Hammond. However, Nick does have a caring side to him as he understands Mark's story and claims he would have done the same for his kid. Although, Nick is not soft as he did not condone Mark for killing his men and only allows Mark to live as long as he promised to leave London forever. An example of the power Nick and his gang have is when he commands the attention of the other gangs on board the Sol vita. Nick takes control of the situation in a way that his brother, Jimmer, could only dream of doing. Nick’s personality is a stark contrast to that of his cowardly younger brother, Jimmer.
The Getaway: Black Monday
- Although Nick wasn't seen to be killed, his death was mentioned in The Getaway: Black Monday, during the opening of the mission Shoreditch Boys, by Jack Harvey. He also comments that the gang hadn't really done anything for two years since Nick's death.
- If Nick Collins survived the Sol Vita explosion, there is a chance the Collins gang could have become the most powerful gang in London.
- In mission 12 - Aboard the Sol Vita, it is implied that he has a child. When letting Mark Hammond go free, Fu Shan Chu (Mr Lee's translator/heavy) protests, but Nick states "I ask this as a favor Mr Lee. He done it for his kid and I'd have done the same for mine."