The official figures, which examine the ethnicity of those accused of violent offences in London, suggest the majority of men held responsible by police for gun crimes, robberies and street crimes are black.
Black men are also disproportionately the victims of violent crime in the capital.
The statistics, released by the Metropolitan Police, permit an informed debate on a sensitive subject for the first time.
One prominent black politician said that the black community needed to face up to major challenges.
Shaun Bailey, a Tory election candidate in London and a charity worker, said: “The black community has to look at itself and say that, at the end of the day, these figures suggest we are heavily – not casually – involved in violent crime. We are also involved in crime against ourselves – and we regularly attack each other.”