Trident Gang Crime Command marks first birthday

10:00 07 February 2013

Serious youth violence has fallen by a quarter since the launch of the Trident Gang Crime Command a year ago, according to the Met Police.

Historically Trident focused primarily on gun crime and homicide within the black community, but the command’s launch on February 8 last year now sees it leading the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) response to tackling gang-related crime and associated violence, with additional responsibility for the prevention and investigation of all shootings in London, regardless of the victim’s background.

In the last year, according to the Met, overall serious youth violence has fallen by 28 per cent, equating to 1,557 fewer victims; knife injuries involving those under the age of 25 have reduced by 28 per cent, equating to 436 fewer victims; and the number of times a gun has been discharged has dropped by 18 per cent, equating to 77 fewer shootings.

Since April last year Trident has made more than 4,000 arrests.

In March 2012, there were 217 ‘top 2,000’ most harmful gang members in custody. As of January 21 this year that figure is 561. Additionally 123 of the ‘top 2,000’ are subject to judicial restrictions such as ASBOs and gang injunctions.

Last year the MPS seized more than 340 firearms and large quantities of ammunition, of which 91 were recovered by Trident officers.

In 2012, Trident led investigations saw sentences totalling 1,334 years, including 16 life sentences.

Detective Chief Superintendent Dean Haydon, head of Trident Gang Crime Command, said: “This year we have seen some fantastic results in terms of enforcement and I am proud of the significant contribution made by Trident officers and staff to these exceptional reductions. Tackling gang-related violence remains a key priority for the MPS and we will continue to target and convict those who choose to carry weapons and cause harm in London’s communities.

“I have one important message for gang members - if you are willing to change your ways then we will help you direct your energies into something more positive, however if you choose to continue living a gang-related criminal lifestyle we will target you and all areas of your criminality.”

In addition to enforcement activity the command also visits schools and works with other partner agencies and local groups to help support young people to enable them to be diverted away from a life in gangs and crime.

These include the Damilola Taylor Foundation, Safer London Foundation, the Princes Trust, Growing Against Gangs and Violence, St Giles Trust, Catalyst Housing, Capital Conflict Management (CCM) and many more.

Commander Steve Rodhouse said: “When we launched the new command last year our aim was to drastically lower levels of serious youth violence, knife crime and gun crime in the capital, make the Met’s response faster and to ensure we had the appropriate numbers of officers and staff focused on tackling gang crime. Our new approach is clearly working and we are now seeing reductions across all gang-related crime types.

“However we recognise that there is much more to be done and recent tragic events demonstrate that we cannot afford to be complacent. We do not underestimate the importance of working with other agencies across London, Trident and the MPS as a whole are committed to working with our partners and community groups to achieve a meaningful and long term impact on the causes of gang violence.

“We know that to tackle gang crime effectively we need the assistance of London’s communities - it is only with their help that we can bring offenders to justice and to protect young people.”

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