Injunctions to prevent gang violence welcomed

By on 01/02/2011 in News

The decision that court orders, which restrict the movements of those accused of being involved in gang related violence, can now be used by police and local authorities is actively welcomed by Safer Birmingham Partnership and its associate partner agencies.

Birmingham was the first city in the UK to pilot the initiative back in August 2007 and obtained 30 interim injunctions, but its application for full injunctions against two individuals was rejected in January the following year when it was deemed there was insufficient evidence against the pair.  As a result, the Court of Appeal ruled that civil injunctions could not be used against those involved in gang violence in Birmingham.

The then Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, had praised Birmingham's use of the injunctions and expressed her disappointment at the ruling.

Undeterred by the response, agencies across Birmingham continued to demonstrate levels of success in tackling gang related violence across the city, by using other tools and powers available to them.  

The city has a well established multi-agency network in place - Birmingham Reducing Gang Violence (BRGV) – which has worked closely with a number of individuals, their families and respected community members over the last three years to reduce the harms associated with gang related violence across the city. 

Through its Multi-Agency Gangs Unit (MAGU), an initiative funded by Safer Birmingham Partnership, both police and council officers have been able to identify and appropriately support those deemed most at risk of gang related violence.  Since its inception, the Unit has worked closely with a number of individuals which has had a postive impact on the City's overall crime reduction successes. 

Cllr Ayoub Khan, Cabinet Member for Community Safety said: “I am delighted at the decision to introduce gang injunctions.  This legislation offers us even greater opportunities to reduce gang related violence and its impact on communities across Birmingham. 

“Most importantly, it enables us prevent and protect those most at risk of involvement in gang related violence.”

Ends

Notes to editors

Safer Birmingham Partnership is a multi-agency partnership that brings together agencies including Birmingham City Council, West Midlands Police, West Midlands Fire Service and others who are all working together for a safer city.

Further information from Belinder Kaur Lidher on 0121 303 6969

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