This three-year journey in pictures came about in the wake of a project shot in 2008 documenting the disturbing gun and knife crime issues plaguing Britain’s youth. Given my experience with the criminal underworld, photographed years earlier in The Firm, I decided to look once more at the people who were supplying the weapons and drugs to UK estates. Joe Pyle senior and the Kray twins, the old-school Godfathers of British crime, have died since The Firm was completed in 2001. In 2008 I found a fractured society of British criminals with little or no organization and leadership, competing, in vain, with international rivals.

Russians, Albanians, Kosovars and Turks now rule the UK underworld now but the indigenous villains, the scions of the Pyle family, still wear their heritage on their sleeves, talking business at unlicensed boxing matches and night clubs and working with their Jamaican brothers - the Yardies -for a slice of the criminal pie.


The 18th century artist and reformer William Hogarth set the precedent for documenting this dark underbelly of society, and in 21st century Britain, little has changed.

The guns and drugs still flourish on our estates, but the empire that once controlled them is in decline and fall. These pictures show the lives of Joe Pyle Junior, and his “brothers” – Warren, Mitch, Alan, and Teddy “Bam Bam” – adopted by Joe Pyle senior to ensure a continuation of the family name and business. This is The Family - the gangsters, pimps, prostitutes and players, writ large as the world changes irrevocably around them. All photographs were taken between September 2008 and June 2011.

Jocelyn Bain Hogg

This exhibition is dedicated to the memory of my friend Mark Grosset.

Jocelyn Bain Hogg

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