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Police chief: ‘We’re not top priority for gang crime’
Wednesday, 04 July 2012
Positive work: Jane Johnson
POLICE chiefs say that Enfield is “not a priority” when it comes to tackling gang crime, despite the murder of three young people on the borough’s street’s last year.
Last Friday 15-year-old Mustafa Gurpinar was found guilty of murdering 14-year-old Leroy James in Ponders End last August. His conviction came just weeks after another 15-year-old was found guilty of stabbing student Steven Grisales to death in Edmonton during the same month in 2011.
Four months before that Negus McClean, 15, was stabbed to death in Edmonton. His killers have not been caught.
According to figures obtained by the Advertiser more than 400 people have been treated for knife wounds in the borough’s hospitals over the last three years – with 108 of those patients under the age of 18.
In spite of this Borough Commander Jane Johnson says that other boroughs such as Lambeth are dealing with worse gang violence, so specially trained officers from the Trident Gang Crime Command are concentrating their efforts elsewhere.
“We now have a dedicated gang unit in Enfield and we can have access to Trident officers for advice and help with investigations if needed,” she told the Advertiser.
“But we are not considered a priority borough in terms of gangs – when you compare us with boroughs like Lambeth.
“If you compare things with this time last year there is a great deal of work that has proved positive, although we are not being complacent.
“Knife crime and youth violence is at the heart of the policing work we are doing here.”
Ms Johnson said that she was pleased that the police had secured convictions for the killings of Steven Grisales and Leroy James and added: “It is helpful to the families in gaining closure and moving on.
“However, the lives of two 15-year-old boys have effectively been ended as well because a long-term sentence will define them for ever.”
She went on to say there were schemes in place to prevent young people becoming involved in gang crime at an early age, including role model and mentoring programmes, providing opportunities to record music and workshops to encourage youngsters to think about the consequences of carrying knives.
“We are looking at identifying the young people at risk, perhaps people from broken homes where the parent support is not as it should be,” she added.
“We look at the skills – making sure that parents have got the ability to help their children to stay on the right path.
“If prevention fails then we are carrying out knife sweeps and, if necessary, bringing in specially trained officers.”
All content © of North London Press unless stated otherwise.
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1 comments on this news item
Posted by : GLEN, NORTHAMPTON | Wednesday 04/Jul/2012 | Report this comment
Preventative Knife and Youth Crime presentations are so important. I have been delivering these in Enfield Schools for over four years now and have had a great deal of positive response the young people I have spoken to not just in the mainstream schools but also the PRU’s. I have always found the police in Enfield to be very pro active in the area of prevention. Please see www.glenbanksycp.co.uk
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Sir Ray Tindle
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