The Yardies

Jeremy: Or I could shoot Martin, or I could hire some yardies to shoot Martin.
Mark: Jeremy, the yardies aren't going to solve all your problems. Why do you always think that the yardies are the answer to everything?
Jeremy: [thinking] The yardies will help me. I just need to get a number for the yardies.

Catch-all term for black gangsters in United Kingdom settings, although it originally applied to groups from the British West Indies (specifically Jamaica). The name comes from the common area courtyards found in Trenchtown, the impoverished housing project in West Kingston, Jamaica. While the term was originally used for all residents of Trenchtown, it later applied only to the large number of criminals and gang members that also lived there.

Nowadays Yardies come from all backgrounds as immigration policies have allowed people of all walks of life the opportunity to come to England and live in low-income neighbourhoods. See Gang Bangers for their American counterparts.



  • Ranulph Fiennes wrote The Sett, which is set amongst the Yardie drug wars of the 1980s.
  • In Anansi Boys, Fat Charlie's neighbors think he is a yardie after he gets taken to jail because Coats frames him for siphoning money from client accounts.

Live-Action TV
  • The Bill
  • Jeremy in Peep Show is chided by Mark for thinking that all of his problems could be solved by the Yardies.
  • Silent Witness.
  • The Fast Show did a series of sketches involving members of the gentry acting out regional identities. One of these involved a yardie man from Kingston (Kingston-upon-Thames, that is).

Video Games

Tabletop Games
  • The Yardies are one of the nastier criminal groups you can run afoul of in Shadowrun. The Mafia and Yakuza at least have some rules of engagement. They're made up primarily of orks and trolls, in large part because other metatypes can't survive their brutal initiation ritual (the initiate is surrounded and beaten on for several minutes, during which time they're not allowed to defend themselves in any way). Other metatypes just aren't tough enough handle the beating.

Web Video
  • Diary of a Badman features elements of this trope, except most of the street gangs are prominently British Southern Asians.