Making our communities safer
Tackling gang activity
Islington Council, Waltham Forest Council
Responding to community concerns about gangs, and a commitment to supporting all young people, Islington Council has created its Integrated Gangs Team (IGT). IGT works with gang affected young people aged 10-24, and is a multi-agency approach with co-located teams who take a safeguarding approach. The joined up intelligence approach has proved to be invaluable for all services working with gang members. IGT is now extending from disruption into prevention including work with siblings. The new operating manual is regarded as a model of best practice in London, and helped contribute to a reduction in serious knife crime among under-25s of 13%, compared with an increase overall in London.
Waltham Forest Council has implemented a new strategy to tackle gangs after commissioning a report from South Bank University, looking into how gang operations have changed in the last decade. The report identified an ‘evolutionary’ progression from territorial, postcode gangs alliances to a more ‘entrepreneurial’ model based on drug distribution and supply. On the back of this report the council announced an additional £806,000 funding on top of the existing £2.2 million they committed to spend over the next 4 years. Adopting a public health, preventative approach, they have committed to employing a Crime Financial Investigator to ‘follow the money’, deliver a trauma-informed community mentoring programme, create a hyper-local engagement model and work with third sector partners and introduce a safeguarding approach to managing the risk associated with young people on the periphery of gang involvement.