To receive an update from Andrea Clemons, Head of Community Safety.
Louise Brown, Team Leader – Anti-Social Behaviour Unit presented this report and highlighted the following:
1. There were two main gangs in the Enfield area:
· DA – Dem Africans – north end of the borough
· GMG – Get Money Gang – south end of the borough
The two gangs operate on the east side of the borough, both top and bottom.
2. There is a lot of work going on around these gangs particularly the N9 and N18 area, which is the DA gang area and GMG are predominately around the EN3 post code location.
3. A large part of the report is given over to some of the work the unit are doing to prevent serious youth violence. This item is also part of the new Crime and Policing plan for London where the focus is on vulnerable young people and preventing those type of crimes. The team are also currently reviewing their gang strategy to reflect the local and regional priorities within Enfield.
4. As detailed on pages 5 – 6 of the report, Enfield currently uses 4 key elements to tackle serious youth violence and enforcement:
5. Page 6 of the report, detailed what is being done as regards these projects.
6. As detailed on page 7, of the report, work around schools. A large part of this work is about prevention and intervention and one of the projects running at present is the Met Police Project called Operation Crest. Operation Crest officers are attending senior schools and school provision units i.e. Swan Annexe, to work with young people to prevent them from serious youth crime, knife crime and gang culture. This has contributed a lot to prevention and gained valuable feedback from young people.
7. As detailed on page 8 of the report, one of the units legislative measures is the work being done around Criminal Behaviour Orders (CBO). Working with a number of police teams, that may identify these persons, by looking at preventative measures to detract them from this type of crime. The unit currently has 49 CBO’s, 40 standing ASBO’s and 1 gang injunction, which is part of the old legislation.
8. The unit are also working with the gangs unit and local ward teams who provide local intelligence regarding that information along with residents. This is a partnership approach to dealing with serious youth violence in Enfield.
9. As detailed on pages 9 – 10 of the report, the table and map show the change in serious youth violence locally as compared with London Boroughs and the spread of risk across the capital and within Enfield.
The following questions were raised:
Q: Referring to the Oasis project at the North Middlesex Hospital (A & E), do people have to ask for the service or is it given automatically?
A: The youth workers will directly engage with them as soon as that person is able to communicate and liase with them, especially a young person that has been injured, in a safe and secure environment. This service is also provided at St Thomas’s Hospital.
Q:You mention the DA and DMG gangs based in the N18 and EN3 areas, but where are gangs based in EN3, is it Enfield Highway/Albany Park area?
A: The GMG gang originated in Enfield Lock, EN3. GMG have a number of off shoot gangs, where younger members have come through and want to identify themselves. So, DA and GMG are the main gangs that first started in operation in Enfield and from those there are offshoot gangs still linked to DA and GMG main members. Albany Park and Enfield Highway are still GMG territory but may call themselves AP.
Q: What Community groups are we working with regarding gangs?
A: We always work with our local CAPE chairs and provide that information to them. Also use the youth provision and Enfield Island Village which is another project regarding the youth centre based there that young people attend. So we always link in with other groups to obtain ground level intelligence.
Q: We need access to information as some parents do not know what is happening in the borough. There is a lot of intervention with young people but would like to see more activity with parents as they have a vital role in preventing these type of gang crimes. AC agreed to make contact with the Parent Engagement Panel to arrange further training/presentations.
A: Within GMG where those young people are being identified, we look at parenting orders. There will also be home address visits so as to educate and speak to the family directly. To make them aware of certain types of activity that their son/daughter may or may not be involved in. We raise their awareness with them to provide that prevention/support and then direct them out to where they may be able to get additional support.
Q: What work is being done in schools, as the report states on page 8 that the St Giles Trust are running targeted lessons for year 8 and 9 pupils. Are you working with any younger children of primary school age? As younger children are targeted by gangs and are less likely to be picked up by the police.
A: Some year 5 and 6 children are fully aware of certain types of activities. Within Enfield, we try and combat the lure to these activities through the Junior Citizen Partnership which targets year 6 children. These children are bought into sessions to discuss at an appropriate level anti-social behaviour, gun crime, gang crime, how to travel safely and what the best way is to access services i.e. fire brigade.
Q: Do all schools participate? Is it mandatory or do some schools choose not to participate?
A: Not sure if mandatory but to my knowledge all of the borough’s schools participate.
Q: Young children who don’t know what is happening, do we have any leaflets or printed matter at libraries that will inform parents of the Junior Citizen Partnership so as to publicize it?
A: We work with our 5 housing providers and landlords within Enfield to help with that type of education. Support services are out there for the prevention of gang culture. The information is out there on the units web site and also links in with schools also.
Some of the language that the DA gang use may not be current for a particular week and is such a dynamic that it makes it difficult to produce hard copy leaflets.
Q: Do you think that these gangs, knowing that all this information is in place actually prevent them from their activities?
A: The information about gangs is out there and our young people and parents can access this information. We are now more able to identify key areas and individuals regarding certain types of activity.
Q: Do we know why gangs have formed, so as to prevent this and know what to do in the future? Do residents and parents have the same opportunities to be educated?
A: What we have done in the past is to use Parent Engagement Panels where we raise awareness around warning signs. Presentations for raising awareness of parents would be part of what we want to do moving forward under the review of our strategy.
Q: What exactly is the Spurs Foundation?
A: The Spurs Foundation are actually present on site at the North Middlesex Hospital working alongside youth workers. They will work with young people to look at possible diversionary tactics to see what is going on in their lives and how they can be helped by providing ongoing support. The foundation is about providing education, life skills they may need and even looking at supported provisions in their home environment aswell. It is a complete partnership funded by Tottenham Hotspur.
Q: Where are the 2 main gangs based in the N9 and N18 area, which roads?
A: The N9 and N18 postcodes are mainly where the DA gang is based. The gang will be present mainly in the Edmonton area.
Q: You mentioned that information around gang culture can be found on web sites, etc. Parents who have tried to access information can find research about gang culture, but what do you do for parents that don’t go looking for this information. What do you do to promote this?
A: It is looking at the most vulnerable people and who those may be coming into the service along with some of the younger children. We look at prevention work, education and including the youth offending unit.
Q: There are some particular secondary schools within Edmonton and Enfield where criminals get children to take part in criminal activities. I don’t see how schools are tackling gang culture and am concerned as my daughter will be attending secondary school very shortly.
A: We are reviewing what we are doing which includes buying into some more services. We do get some referrals from schools. When schools are interested in working with us we are very interested in working with them. In general relationships with schools are very good. Trident, local police and schools’ officers are a key part of the relationship between the partnership community and the school itself.