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Call-In gang clampdown works - new data shows

Published Friday, 14 September 2012

Gang members taking part in a innovative Enfield Council scheme to help them change their ways are committing fewer crimes interim research has shown.

Gang members taking part in a innovative Enfield Council scheme to help them change their ways are committing fewer crimes interim research has shown.

Research carried out by Enfield Council shows that analysis of 10 participants who signed up to get help from different agencies following the call ins committed a third fewer crimes (33%) after the events started in January.

The borough was the first 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 Enfield Council and the police would be used to stop their criminal behaviour.

Enfield Council's Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing and Public Health, Cllr Christine Hamilton, said: "While these figures only related to a relatively small sample of gang members they are very encouraging and show that the work we are doing to rehabilitate gang members and turn them into people who make a positive contribution to society is working well.

"At the start of this process we told gang members to attend the call ins and get help to stop their offending and anti-social behaviour or the we'd throw the book at them and do everything we could to stop their offending. We aren't going to tolerate lawless criminal behaviour in Enfield so its pleasing that a number of young people have seen sense and realise that their days as gang members are numbered."

Analysis of the three call-ins conducted so far show that 114 of the estimated 250 gang members in Enfield have been approached, offered the opportunity to attend the sessions and told to change their ways and behave.

Of the 46 who attended the call in, 39 have sought help to change their behaviour and life style and are now working with a range of agencies to turn their lives around.

The Call In was first tried in Boston USA and then delivered in Glasgow as part of the Community Initiative to Reduce Violence project (CIRV).  Enfield Council has worked with William Graham, who worked for Strathclyde police previously delivering the "Call In" sessions to set up the Enfield project.

Mr Graham, said: "The call in basically tells these young people that if you remain in a gang you will end up in prison or dead but as well as providing a stark warning it also offers a way out to those who want it.

"This approach targets the whole gang rather than an individual and it has worked very successfully in Glasgow. Those that want to get out are helped, those that don't will be targeted by the police and put away."

Ch Supt Johnson , Enfield Borough Commander said:  "Gangs and youth violence  are a priority for Enfield police. 
"While I'm passionate in the belief that the police role is enforcement I hugely believe in the role of diversion in suitable cases - we work in partnership with those involved in managing the response to gang crime and violence in organising these events.

"The theatre of the occasion and impact of the call-in really impresses on young people the consequences of gang and youth violence. The outcomes so far are very encouraging and show that this innovative tactic is making a difference , I'm keen for the call-ins to continue and to extend the coverage to those on the periphery of the gangs operating in Enfield "

For more information contact Andrew Golder, Press and New Media Manager, Enfield Council. Tel: 020 8379 5147 or Email

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