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Have a heart - ditch the gang on Valentine's Day

Published Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Gang members will receive a Valentine's Day card from Enfield Community Safety Partnership this year urging them to turn their backs on crime rather than breaking their mother's hearts.

With a tag line of "Don't break your mum's heart on Valentine's Day - she's more important than any gang" the cards will be sent to young people who are in or  at the periphery of gangs and they will also contain the contact details of organisations who can help young people and their families to escape a criminal lifestyle.

Enfield Council's Cabinet Member for Environment and Community Safety, Cllr Chris Bond, said: "We know who our gang members are and what they've done in the past. These cards are a gentle reminder that we're on their case and will continue to be until they clean up their act.

"We do a lot of innovative and effective work to tackle gangs and serious youth violence in the borough and this campaign will build on and support those efforts. Serious youth violence is one of the crimes which causes the most anguish and concern in the community and we are absolutely focused on tackling violent crime."

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Healy from Enfield Police said: ” Enfield Police work closely with our partners to divert people away  from crime, with a particular emphasis around joining or remaining in a gang. If people do not take up the offer of support ,then we will use enforcement tactics to curtail offending and ensure that the risk they poses to each other and the general public is minimised. “

Enfield Council is one of the leading local authorities in the United Kingdom in tackling gang related crime.

Enfield Council was the first local authority in England and Wales to use the "Call-In" process, in which known gang members attend court and are warned about their criminality and wider behaviour by police, judges, the probation service, council officers, ex-gang members, community leaders, surgeons and the parents of young murder victims.

The parents of young people who had died as a result of gang related violence talk about how the death of their child affected their families while former gang members speak about their experiences of life in gangs and the consequences , while surgeons graphically demonstrate the effect of knife wounds on the body.

The sessions culminate with the young people being given details of the agencies that can help them extract themselves from gang life and are warned that unless they mend their ways the full force of the Community Safety Partnership will be used to stop their criminal behaviour.

Enfield Council and the Metropolitan Police also scooped the Problem Orientated Partnership Award at New Scotland Yard and the International Problem Solving Award for its working in slashing youth crime by nearly 60% over a four year period.

The borough has also achieved dozens of injunctions and ASBOs against gang members severely restricting what they can do the borough and elsewhere.

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