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Serious Youth Violence Unit

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1 Serious Youth Violence Unit
DI Driss HAYOUKANE Metropolitan Police

2 - A group of three or more individuals.
What is a 'Gang'? Under the Metropolitan Police Guidelines, a ‘gang’ is defined as follows: - A group of three or more individuals. - This group utilising an emblem, colour or linked by a common name to identify themselves. - An association with a specific geographical area. Gangs are inherently associated with criminality and violence. Serious Youth Violence: A violent act that inflicts serious injury. Intimidation, threat or coercion with the intent of escalating violence between young people. Involving persons up to the age of 30 (victim or offender).

3 Between January and September 2014, RBKC experienced 16 stabbings amounting to serious injuries. In each of these cases, both the victims and perpetrators were identified as young people (under 30yrs) with gang associations. This issue was did not exclusively concern North Kensington. Violent stabbings occurred in daylight in Notting Hill Gate, Earls Court Road and World's End Estate in Chelsea. Historically, victims of such assaults refuse to engage with police or provide statements. A change in methods of policing and prosecutions was required.

4 In November 2012, eight high ranking members of the Ladbroke Grove Blood Gang were imprisoned for Possession for Intent to Supply after they were found by police in the address of a vulnerable person cutting and bagging a large quantity of Class A and Class B drugs. Each received lengthy custodial sentences. It is believed that their absence from the area led to a 'power vacuum' in the gang structure of North Kensington and the resulting assaults were a direct result of postcode turf wars and drug dealing feuds in the absence of a clear gang hierarchy. Police found strong links between victims and perpetrators of SYV and convictions for drug dealing.

5 Operation Capulet Intelligence led operation into drug dealing on Ladbroke Grove. Surveillance carried out on a number of individuals carrying out blatant dealing during the day from their council address. In total 51 persons were arrested over the three month operation; the majority being buyers of the drugs and 14 of which were gang nominals. Three of the main suppliers of drugs had been victims of SYV in the past year. Four are believed to have committed SYV offences. Five suppliers of controlled drugs have been convicted for the offence with a number of others awaiting trial.

6 Serious Youth Violence
As a result of the increasing violence on RBKC, the Borough was designated by the Home Office as an Emerging Gang Youth Violence Borough (EGYV), one of only ten in London. To prevent serious youth violence and gang crime by diverting, disrupting and enforcing against known offenders; whilst preventing those at risk of serious youth violence and gang involvement becoming tomorrow’s offenders. These are aims shared with Partnership Agencies in tackling the SYV issue and throughout the SYV Management Meeting which meets monthly, sharing information from police indices regarding SYV referrals The police are amongst the best placed to proactively disrupt and enforce against SYV perpetrators and victims.

7 SYV Case Management An essential part of SYV Management is an integrated approach with the following agencies: Probation/YOTs Social Services Safeguarding in Education EPIC/SOS Youth Engagement Housing Information sharing is key to the Police's SYV Strategy in Managing Young Offenders.

8 The SYV Team consists of one Sergeant, two Detective Constables and three Police Constables.
Working within the SYV Mission Statement, police actions include: PREVENT: Conduct prison visits on gang members currently serving sentences Work with the TMO and Notting Hill Housing Trust to encourage alternative housing for persistent offenders and their families. DISRUPT: Work closely with Probation, YOTs and Integrated Offender Management (IOM) to set clear licence and CBO conditions on offenders such as non-association and exclusion zones. Plain clothes patrols and community engagement

9 ENFORCE: Warrants on the addresses of known SYV nominals. Arrest, charge and convict those arrested for SYV offences via specialist investigations. Work alongside SC&O8 (Trident Unit) DIVERT: Engagement with EPIC CIC and SOS St Giles regarding community projects, sports courses and vocational training Work with SOS and SC&03 regarding mediation between rival gang members. Engage with the families and the community to strengthen police relationships . Approaches vary in their success depending on the individuals concerned.

10 Example 1: The Playhouse
The individuals concerned here lead lavish lifestyles despite having no legitimate means of income. In early 2014, two rival gang members came into dispute at the Playhouse Club on Elkstone Road, W10. Despite being hospitalised from their injuries, no parties provided statements. Given the impact on public safety, and lack of co-operation from those involved, police secured 'victimless prosecutions'. With the footage obtained from the venue, successful convictions of Section 20 GBH and Affray were obtained for members of both sides of the feud. The Playhouse was subsequently closed due to ongoing violence and anti-social behaviour from customers.

11 CCTV Footage

12 Example 2: Intervention
An individual's association with two rival gangs resulted in him being targeted by both. He was a repeat victim of stabbings. He was stabbed in April 2014 and though he would not provide a statement, expressed a desire to leave the gang lifestyle. With support from his family, he was successfully relocated to a different Borough as part of a Managed Move Programme with Catalyst Housing. He has had no interactions with Gangs since and is performing well in education

13 Any Questions?

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