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Gang and knife crime clampdown

Published Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Tough swift justice will be the cornerstone of a new clampdown on serious youth violence in Enfield.

Tough swift justice for offenders, parenting support for the mums and dads of children at risk of gang involvement and forcing gang members to change their ways will be the cornerstone of a new clampdown on serious youth violence in Enfield.

Enfield Council and the police announced on Thursday 5 April that tackling gangs and serious youth violence will be their main priorities in the coming year. There were three murders of teenagers and young people in Enfield between 2011 and 2012.

The decision comes after a consultation of 14,100 people by the Enfield Safer and Stronger Communities Board revealed 91 per cent of people thought tackling serious youth violence should be a priority for the borough. 

Enfield Council's Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing and Public Health, Cllr Christine Hamilton, said: "We are not prepared to stand by and do nothing while our children are stabbed, beaten and robbed on the streets of Enfield and we will be focusing our efforts on stamping down hard on youth offending, getting young people out of gangs and stopping youngster from being drawn in to start with.

"Tackling serious youth violence is a battle we're winning - it dropped by a fifth last year, but we need to do more and we're determined to tackle the root causes of youth crime by working with the police and other partners. Enfield is a safe place and the chances of being a victim of crime are low, but we want to make the borough even safer and do everything we can to prevent young people from being drawn in to gangs and going on a downhill spiral."

Enfield Police Borough Commander, Chief  Superintendent  Jane Johnson  said: "I know that local people are concerned about youth crime and violence and the prevalence of gangs.

"I believe our role as the police is primarily about enforcement whilst working with and influencing partnership delivery. I do think that if you identify vulnerable young people at an earlier stage, and put support services around them, you can prevent them from joining gangs and needing that security that they often say they get from a gang.”  

Work will also be done to prevent young people from falling under the influence of gangs.

The clampdown in 2012 will build on the work carried out in the previous year, which saw big drops in serious youth violence and robbery (down 19 per cent), the introduction of the Gang Call in to tackle gang membership and gang injunctions to tackle illegal behaviour by gang members.

The Enfield Safer and Stronger Communities Board has also established a Gangs Action Groups which deals with cases of young offenders and young adults who are either involved in gangs or at the periphery of gangs.

The group will offer support which if refused is followed with tough enforcement action and looks at what each individual gang member needs to ensure that the right support is offered.

In the coming year the partnership will conduct more calls ins, look at how ex-gang members managed to extricate themselves from a gang lifestyle and use the information to help existing gang members and also provide help and support to parents whose children may be at risk of involvement in gangs.

It will also a work with the court service to introduce premium service for some offenders to ensure that justice is tough and swift.

Enfield Safer and Stronger Communities Board agreed to adopt the new priorities today (Thursday 5 April).

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