BRITAIN: The Girl Gangs

They can be amiable and unassuming by day, indistinguishable from other British teen-age girls. But at night they become birds of prey. Sometimes silently, sometimes shrieking, they swoop down in groups on unsuspecting victims in dark streets, at lonely bus stops and in deserted toilets. Kicking, biting, scratching, punching, they reduce the victim—usually another female—to hysteria and then disappear, stealing perhaps only a few pence. To Londoners, they are known as the bovver (cockney for bother, which in turn means fight) birds, the newest and in some ways the eeriest street gangs since the Teddy boys terrorized London in...

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