Knife Crime in Ealing - Benjamin Dennehy

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					                                             Report to Scrutiny




                                             Item Number:    7


 Contains Confidential Or   No
   Exempt Information


                            Knife Crime in Ealing
Subject of Report:

                            Crime and Community Safety Standing Scrutiny Panel 23
Meeting:
                            November 2010


                            Alastair Romanes, Head of Youth Offending Service
Service report author:      Superintendent Jenkins, Metropolitan Police
                            Natalie Reynolds, Head of Community Safety

                            Kevin Unwin
Scrutiny officer:           Ext 6568
                            unwink@ealing.gov.uk


                            Councillor Ranjit Dheer, Safer Communities
Cabinet Responsibility:

Director Responsibility:    Susan Parsonage, Director of Safer Communities



                            To answer the following questions set by OSC:
                                What is the prevalence of knife crime in Ealing and how
                                  does this compare across London and the UK?
                                When and where does this occur?
                                Are there any particular groups who carry out the crime
Brief:
                                  or are victims?
                                What are partners doing to reduce the incidence of knife
                                  crime and what does and could the Council do?
                                Are stop and search powers being used appropriately?




                             To consider the questions contained in the Panel’s brief, and
Recommendations:            make recommendations to Cabinet and/or other partners as
                            appropriate.
KNIFE AND SERIOUS YOUTH VIOLENT CRIME

1. BACKGROUND

  This report outlines the approach of both the Youth Offending
  Service (YOS) and the Police in tackling knife and serious youth
  violent crime. As two of the lead agencies they have both provided
  information about the work they do and the partners that they work
  with.

2. EALING YOUTH OFFENDING SERVICE (YOS)


  Services to young offenders are delivered through the borough’s Youth
  Offending Service (YOS), which is based in Acton and covers the whole
  borough. The YOS focuses both on reducing the level of first time
  offending and re-offending by young people aged up to 18 and working
  with the Police and the Courts to progress outcomes for young people who
  are offending or at risk of offending. This involves assessing the young
  person and their family, providing Pre-Sentence reports to the Youth
  Courts to influence appropriate sentencing outcomes for the young person
  and delivering a range of programmes including parenting programmes to
  reduce the likelihood of re-offending in the future. A key focus is also on
  ensuring that the young person has the range of appropriate education,
  health and family support, including substance misuse advice and that
  their safeguarding needs are addressed where needed.

  2.1 Structure
  Ealing YOS is a multi-agency organisation, established as a result of the
  Crime and Disorder Act 1998 which restructured Youth Justice services,
  set up the Youth Justice Board (YJB) and introduced a range of new
  sentences for young people. Although the YOS sits within Children’s
  Services, strategic oversight lies with the multi-agency Performance
  Management Board where the partnership organisations – police,
  probation, CAMHS, Connexions, PCT, Victim Support – are represented.
  Operationally, seconded practitioners from these partnerships work
  alongside social workers delivering interventions, both court-ordered and
  voluntary, to young people at risk of, or already engaged in offending or
  anti-social behaviour

  2.2 Funding
  The YOS budget of £1.8m is made up of core funding from LBE (40%) and
  YJB (40%) with the balance comprising grants from other sources such as
  the Safer Ealing Partnership, Rainer Crime Concern and the National
  Treatment Agency. Cuts in future funding are already planned and some
  streams will cease.

  2.3 Services
  Early Intervention services are delivered directly by the Youth Inclusion
  and Support Panel (YISP) team with the aim of diverting young people at
risk of offending away from the Criminal Justice System. A Police
Sergeant and 2 Officers are based at the YOS and fully integrated into the
management and operational team. They also deliver Final Warnings with
Restorative Justice interventions. In addition there are very strong links
and partnership working across Children’s Services with the Police
through the Safer Neighbourhoods and Safer Schools Teams. In
partnership with magistrates, prison officers, and Victim Support, YOS
practitioners and police officers deliver a crime prevention programme -
“Your Life You Choose” - to 1500 year 7 students in Ealing secondary
schools. The recent introduction of a Triage system based at Police
stations will provide more accurate targeting and through restorative and
victim-based interventions divert young people more effectively from the
Youth Court and resource-intensive court-ordered disposals

Statutory supervision of young people on court orders is governed by
National Standards which prescribe the frequency and timeliness of
contacts. Failure to comply with these requirements results in a return to
Court with the possibility of further punishment or even custody. Typically
young people can be made subject to a Referral Order which requires
them to comply with a contract agreed and overseen by a panel of
volunteers; a Youth Rehabilitation Order with up to 17 requirements; or a
Detention and Training Order, half of which is served in custody and half
under supervision in the community. Courts can also make Parenting,
Curfew and Reparation Orders.

Special programmes delivered by the YOS include:

   Intensive Supervision and Surveillance is a 25 hours/7 days a week
   programme offered to the Court as a direct alternative to custody which
   addresses 5 key elements – Offending Behaviour, Family Issues, ETE,
   Accommodation, and Purposeful Leisure Activities. Participants who
   are at high risk of reoffending or who have committed serious offences
   are subject to a curfew enforced by electronic monitoring.

   Integrated Rehabilitation and Support is a similarly intensive but
   voluntary programme for young people with mental health or drug
   issues which extends beyond the termination of their statutory
   supervision. Both ISSP and IRS are funded by the Youth Justice
   Board.

   High risk young people are also the targeted for the Summer Arts
   College funded by the YJB and the Arts Council which has run for 4
   years and has been particularly successful in providing an intensive
   daily summer education and arts programme. The persistent young
   offenders who complete the programme, the overwhelming majority of
   whom were NEETs at the start, have since been integrated back into
   education, training and employment. In addition there has been a
   marked reduction in offending levels in the borough whilst the
   programme has been run. There are however doubts that funding will
   be available for this programme in future.
      The YOS provides Parenting Programmes to deliver better outcomes
      for young offenders and their siblings through the Strengthening
      Families, Strengthening Communities programme which consists of 15
      sessions run in partnership with the Family Support Service (Northolt).
      Selected members of the Pre-Court team have undertaken the
      ‘Strengthening Families’ training to help facilitate the programme.

      Of particular interest at this time is the Restorative Justice
      programme which has been successfully delivered to schools and is
      now being rolled out as a Triage intervention as well as being
      integrated into the ISS and Referral Order schedule of interventions.

      Whether or not they are subject to Reparation Orders, as part of their
      statutory Orders young people are expected to undertake Reparation
      to the community for their offences. This includes the Youth
      Community Payback Scheme, where young people remove graffiti, an
      Art Programme at the Michael Flanders Day Centre, Victim Awareness
      sessions, and after-school educational support.

      The Youth Offending Speech and Language Therapy programme is
      a 2 year EU funded research project whose object is development of a
      screening tool to test the communication levels of 25 young offenders
      in Ealing and a similar number in Hammersmith and Fulham. The
      Ealing cohort will then receive interventions designed to improve their
      communication skills which will then be measured against the
      Hammersmith and Fulham cohort which will not receive the
      interventions. The tool and interventions will be shared with partners in
      Milan.

      Preventing Violent Extremism, a programme aimed at young people
      at risk of being drawn into organisations promoting violent extremism
      has run for 18 months in partnership with Ealing Mosques, Somali and
      other ethnic organisations and the police. Funding from the Safer
      Ealing Partnership and YJB has now ended.


2.4 YOS and SERIOUS YOUTH VIOLENCE

Serious Violent Crime refers to the most serious crimes or weapon -enabled
offences eg murder, manslaughter, rape, GBH. Although it can be a result of
an individual child responding to their own particular history or circumstances
such as Domestic Violence or child abuse, it is three times more likely to be a
function of gang activity. ‘Gang’ is defined as “a discernible group for whom
crime and violence is integral to the group’s identity”. Recent analytical
research indicates that there are three dominant factors related to serious
violence, in particular homicide.
 Illegal economy- linked to organisational gangs, illegal drug markets,
    fraudulent goods, trafficking
 Personal conflict – dispute led or heated arguments
 Feuds – territory-based assertion, respect and retribution
The key risk factors are:

   Family breakdown, domestic violence, Substance Misuse, Abuse
   Involvement in crime of siblings, parents, family, peers
   School underachievement, exclusion
   Environmental factors such as poor housing, overcrowding, poverty,
    worklessness, and a lack of positive activities#

2.5 Serious Youth Violence in Ealing
In 2009/10, 242 Ealing young people were accused of violent crimes and of
these 56 were convicted or cautioned for violent offences. These included:

                       Robbery 26 (2008/9 = 51)
                       ABH/GBH 9 (17)
                       Affray 5 (6) Assault 22 (38)

There were 17 convictions for knife-related offences

                       11 robberies
                       4 possessing a knife/blade
                       2 grievous bodily harm

Of which
                      4 received custodial penalties
                      2 were females
                      17 year olds were the largest group
                      young black males were over-represented
                     
It should be noted that violent offenders comprise less than 1% of the 12-18
age group in Ealing.

2.6 Gangs in Ealing

The gang situation in London is not comparable to that in other major UK
cities in that gangs in London are generally based on ethnicity (black or
minority ethnic) and post codes. Ealing, although not as seriously affected by
gang violence as some other London boroughs, has several gangs operating
within or from outside the borough:
 Money Drugs Power (MDP) – cross-borough gang based on the South
    Acton and White City Estates, involved in robbery and inter-gang violence
    but also act as runners for Class A drug dealers
 Street Politics/ Instruments of Cruelty – a spin off from MDP following
    custodial sentences imposed on senior gang members involved in murder
    of man wrongly supposed to be a member of Gritset
 Gritset – based in Windmill Park, violently opposed to MDP
 Guns Fully Loaded (GFL) – Hammersmith gang involved in Victoria
    murder and linked to MDP
 Purple Hayes
Many young people required to report to the YOS are afraid to do so because
of its location at the heart of MDP territory. These young people have to be
seen elsewhere, usually at Perceval House.

2.7 Safeguarding Response to Serious Youth Violence

As well as being a criminal justice and public safety issue, serious youth
violence demands a safeguarding response. Young people who put the public
at risk also put themselves in danger: from the violence their own behaviour
may invite: from the violent resistance which may meet their attempts to leave
the gang environment; and from the retribution drug suppliers may mete out to
the young person and their family when drugs confiscated by the police have
to be paid for.

The Family Intervention Project funded by Youth Crime Action Plan money
provides interventions which support and guide 20 Ealing families whose
members have been identified as most at risk of offending. On those
occasions when young people and their families are in danger, resources
have to be mobilised in a number of agencies – housing, social care, police
and the YOS – to arrange relocation of the young person and/or their family to
a safer area, an arrangement which can often be resisted by the people
reluctant to uproot themselves but which consumes the same resources
whatever the outcome

2.8 YOS Programmes addressing SYV

THE KNIFE CRIME PREVENTION PROGRAMME

Since the autumn of 2009, the YOS has been required to offer a Knife
Programme to all young people convicted of knife or knife-enabled offences.
In making proposals to the Youth Court, Pre-Sentence Report writers ask for
the Knife Crime Prevention Programme (KCPP) to be included as a
Programme Requirement of a Youth Rehabilitation Order under the Criminal
Justice and Immigration Act 2009 or as part of a programme of supervision.
KCPP is also included as a licence condition for those released from a
custodial sentence for a knife-related offence.

Other Knife Crime measures announced by the Government in 2008 included:
 More stop and search – increased use of detection equipment such as
   knife arches, knife detection wands etc
 Police home visits to parents of young people known to carry knives – in
   an attempt to encourage parental responsibility around this type of
   offending
 Creation of Youth Forums- to give young people the ability to contribute
   to policy development
 Presumption to charge – all 16-17 year olds for knife possession
 Messages to sentencers – tougher sanctions
 Be Safe Knife Prevention Programmes - to be rolled out in Schools and
   PRUs
The objectives of these measures were to help young people to understand
the consequences (to themselves and others) of carrying and using knives; to
remove the sense of impunity that many knife carriers have; to encourage
parental responsibility and to listen more actively to the concerns of young
people and allow them to hold public bodies to account for keeping them safe.

The Knife Crime Prevention Programme is designed to target all young
people convicted of Knife Enabled Offences, not just the obvious ones -
Possession of a Blade/Point, Possession of an Offensive Weapon (Knife) but
also Robbery, Assault, Affray or Burglary in which a knife or the threat of a
knife is a feature

The Programmes provides a targeted intervention which in addressing the
issues around knife crime provides a credible community option for
sentencers. It aims to develop the young person’s understanding of the
impact and consequences of knife crime and to reduce the prevalence of knife
carrying and use by young people in the local area

Devised by experienced YOS practitioners and specialist programme
providers working in tandem with the Youth Justice Board, the Programme
allows the YOS to retain flexibility in the way that the programme is delivered
while giving greater consistency to service delivery across areas.
Programmes to include the following components:

The Programme consists of the following modules:

1.Attitudes to knife carrying – exploring the young person’s attitude to
carrying knives; their level of fear around becoming a victim of knife crime;
and their experience of gangs and territorialism
2.The Law – examining the young person’s understanding of the laws
governing knife crime and the likely consequences in terms of sentencing
3.Health – looking at the Medical implications of knife crime, raising
awareness of devastating injuries caused, the risk of infection, and basic first
aid
4.Social Implications – investigating the impact of knife crime on families
and the rising level of fear in the wider community.
5.Managing Conflict – helping young people to maintain control over their
emotions and calm situations to avoid an escalation of conflict which could
result in physical harm
6.Victim Interactions – research confirms that victim testimony to the
devastating effect knife crime has had on their lives has a powerful impact on
perpetrators.
7.Public Space Awareness – exploring how young people can keep
themselves safe in their communities
8.Peer education – using ex offenders to present their own experiences and
learning as a result of their participation in knife-related crime

Although the Programme can be delivered in a group setting, the small
number of eligible participants in Ealing makes one-to-one delivery more
appropriate. The Programme requires young people to attend a minimum of 8
hour long sessions, usually once a week. All Programme starts and
completions are submitted quarterly to the YJB for monitoring and participants
are monitored as part of the overall evaluation.

Programme Content

      Session 1: Attitudes to Knife-Carrying
      An Attitudinal Survey takes a snapshot of the young person’s views at
      the beginning of the programme to be compared with their view at the
      end to help evaluate the programme. The survey also helps to identify
      particular areas that need attention. The Programme pack contains a
      short film showing knife-enabled murder, using the characters in the
      film and the story-line to generate discussion around the triggers to the
      violence, the immediate actions involved and the thoughts, feelings and
      consequences around these actions.

      Session 2: The Law
      A ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’ style quiz about knife carrying and
      the Law which helps to open up discussion with the young person
      about the Law and Knife Crime and allows them to demonstrate their
      understanding or lack of it. The DVD then looks at the impact of knife
      crime on the Police with an interview with a policeman who gives an
      account of what it is like to attend the scene of a knife incident.

      Session 3: Health
      Looking at the immediate and long term effects of knife crime through
      pictures of knife injuries and a DVD interviewing paramedics and an
      A&E consultant about their experiences of knife crime. The A & E
      consultant talks passionately about the unnecessary increase in knife
      crime and especially the death of young people and the impact this has
      on families and staff dealing with knife-related incidents. The DVD
      tackles basic First Aid, testing the young person’s comprehension and
      looking in more detail at the action to take if someone is stabbed.

      Session 4: Social Implications
      A Questionnaire exploring the young person’s perceptions of knife and
      violent crime nationally and the reason that people carry knives, and
      then undermining that rationale with information about what is really
      happening nationally e.g. violent crime decreasing, Characters in a film
      and song lyrics are used to explore stereotypes, loss and
      consequences

      Session 5: Managing Conflict
      Examining what conflict means to the young person: the physical signs
      of anger, general and personal; triggers – what makes the young
      person angry, using a traffic light analogy to represent the escalation of
      anger; avoidance techniques – looking at stepping back from the
      situation and turning attention elsewhere. If concerns are raised about
      the young person’s ability to manage their anger then this can be
      further explored through specific individual work on anger management

      Session 6: Victim Interactions
      A series of filmed interviews with 3 families who have lost loved ones
      describing their response to knife crime followed by a film about the
      ripple effect of knife conflict starting with the person most affected right
      through to those on the periphery. Then a shift in focus to the feelings
      of and impact on the young person’s own victim.

      Session 7: Public Space Awareness
      Looking at local hazards and how young person deals with them, how
      they can protect themselves and what influences their decision-making.

      Session 8: Peer Education
      A documentary DVD featuring an offender convicted of a knife crime,
      employing the testimony of other offenders involved in serious knife
      offences to reflect on the gains and losses of resulting from the young
      person’s own offence.

      Session 9: Self-evaluation
      Each session ends with an opportunity for the young person to
      evaluate the session and what they have learned.


THE SERIOUS YOUTH VIOLENCE AND KNIFE CRIME REDUCTION
PROGRAMME

Under the last government’s Youth Crime Action Plan, those London
boroughs which met certain youth crime criteria each received grants of
£700,000 to tackle youth crime. Ealing which was not among them
nevertheless was successful in a bid to for £20,000 of TKAP funding to run a
programme for young people convicted of serious violent and weapon-
enabled offences. The funding is used to hire premises in a neutral area of
Ealing; to buy in the Recr8 programme and to purchase the residential places
which end the programme. This programme is unique to Ealing and in the
absence of renewed funding will end this year.

Programme Outline

Using current and previous offence profiles, young people involved in
interpersonal violence and knife/weapon-enabled conflict are identified and
targeted. These individuals participate in one of three 12 week programmes
which employ a combination of anger management, conflict resolution and
weapon consequences training alongside victim testimonies, the perspectives
of professionals (police, paramedics etc dealing with these crimes first hand)
and ex-offenders, and the expression of these themes through an Arts Award
programme. The programme aims to reduce violent and weapons-related
offending through addressing the issues triggering and contributing to anger
and violence and supporting young people in practising the skills needed to
resolve conflicts without violence and the use of weapons. The programme
also pro-actively engages parents to provide them with the skills to support
their children in managing conflict more appropriately, thereby achieving
positive outcomes for the young people concerned and enabling them to gain
an Arts Award qualification.

Progress to Date

10 young people were selected, based on their conviction for offences
involving interpersonal violence or possession of weapons, for the first 12
week Serious Youth Violence and Knife Crime Reduction programme starting
01/06/10. Following pre-programme motivational work from the supervising
officers, 7 out of 10 started the programme and participated successfully in
the 4 day Aggrav8 intensive programme run by the YOS in partnership with
Recre8. Material created in the programme contributed to the achievement of
the Bronze Arts award as part of the full programme. Completion of the full
programme with all 7 participants was followed by an inspirational
presentation from Hannah Beharry, Britain’s number one female boxer
designed to help them consider their futures and how they could change them
for the better.

The second 10 week programme started on 21/10/10 and the Aggrav8
intensive 3 day programme delivered by Recrea8 was delivered 25/10/10 and
27/10/10. 12 young people were instructed to attend the programme with 8
attending the intensive course and completing it. These 8 plus at least one
other will continue for the rest of the 8 weeks completing the conflict
programme and the Arts Award (bronze level). The 12 young people selected
are all male and range between 14 and 18. They have all been convicted of a
violent or weapons related offence.

Programme content

      Session 1: The consequences of behaviour – group session

         Introduction to the programme
         Presentation from Hannah Beharry, Women’s Boxing number
         From adversity to success/Muttah Beale

      Session 2: What is Anger? A general introduction to the topics
      covered in the conflict programme

         3-4 day intensive interactive programme run by Recre8
         Rapport building through name learning and confidence building
          games
         Setting ground rules for the programme and sanctions for breaking
          them.
         Discovering what anger is? Where it comes from?
         What are some of the triggers to anger and the physical signs
         Participation in Drama contributes towards Arts Award.
Session 3: Safety and Danger

   Gathering – A place you feel safe
   Where Do You Stand (gangs p33) – (20 minutes)
   Conflict Maps (Gangs p.58) - (40mins)
   Photography Session – local area –Things that depict safety, things
    that depict danger – for montage

Session 4: Group conflict and the consequences of Knife Crime

 Gathering – Why do gangs exist?
 Conflict street (gangs p.45) / Vicious circle (Conflict p.40) –
  (30mins)
 Knives, violence and the Law Quiz –(KCPP) (20mins)
 The consequences of knife crime – injury and health (20 minutes)


Session 5: What are the triggers to our Anger? – Individual
session

 What’s Blowing your Sails – emotions underlying anger (P.4 Anger
  workbook) – 30 minutes
 Reaction Time – Different ways of reacting – Passive Aggressive &
  Assertive (P18 Anger Workbook) – 30 minutes
 Introduction to the anger diary

Session 6: Friday -Synergy Theatre Production

Session 7: Where does your anger come from? Looking at what
experiences made us who we are and how this might affect how
we react

   Gathering – I am good at…
   Introduction of Anger Diaries completed
   Who am I? (conflict p.31)
   Strength/experiences self portraits on draw around canvas

Session 8: Synergy Theatre workshop

Session 9: Synergy Theatre workshop

Session 10: How anger escalates to violence

   Gathering
   Look at the escalation model in targets for effective change
   Chain reaction (gangs p74) – escalation and de-escalation (50mins)
   Or Red Flags or FIDO
   The Gift of the Gab (anger workbook p.38)
      Session 11: The consequences of conflict and violence – victims

       Gathering – Tell us about a time you have been somewhere and felt
        unwelcome
       Victim Testimony and discussion
       RJ type work – Who is effected
       Teaching skills to others – Arts award

      Session 12: Controlling anger

       Gathering – Someone I look up to
       Word storm ways of dealing with anger so it doesn’t end in
        aggression
       Relaxation techniques – visualisation of cool liquid flowing through
        body/safe place
       Remind of escalation & de-escalation introduce concept of self-talk
        – Role play demon and angel on perpetrators shoulder.
       Police presentation on avoiding conflict/ex-offender (optional)

      Session 13: Practising keeping cool

       Gathering – I kept my temper whilst …..
       Role-playing set and personal scenarios to practice self-talk
       Experiential Learning? – Interviewing members of the public
        regarding their fears around youth violence and knife crime (risk
        assessment needed)
       Design an anti-conflict poster

      Session 14: Spare session

         Issues arising
         Lessons learned

      Session 15: Recognising the physical signs of Anger

         Gathering
         Physical signs of anger recap with body drawings
         Sculpting emotions – how we show emotions physically
         Making anger masks
         Conclusions drawn about ability to recognise these signs and
          remove yourself


2.9 YOS Programme Evaluation

The objective of these programmes is to reduce the number of knife crimes
committed by young people supervised by the YOS. This data is not available
because the new version of the YOS database is not yet able to support a
reporting programme which can analyse the raw data. This problem is being
worked on currently by LBE IT department, SERCO and Careworks and is
expected to be resolved by the end of the year.


3.0 EALING POLICE RESPONSE

It is the polices responsibility to prevent and disrupt serious youth violence
and knife crime. The Police are engaged in a number of activities to achieve
this|:

3.1 RAG (Red, Amber, Green) system

The borough's initial approach to RAG valuing individuals based on the risk
they pose to themselves or others was done through the completion of a
scoring matrix. Each of these had various attributes, each garnering a point
for the individual in question e.g. how much previous does the individual have
for robbery/violence and other indicator crimes; are they known to overtly
associate themselves to gangs through wearing of colours/clothing/graffiti
tags; are they known for drug dealing/taking; etc. The idea being that the
more criteria you hit the higher on the RAG list you go.

   Red: entrenched – usually in custody
   Amber: identifies with a named gang or associates with gang members
   Green: not a known gang member but has siblings or friends who are


It was soon realised that applying a scientific approach created anomalies e.g.
an individual who is notorious from an intelligence perspective but actually
doesn't commit or get caught committing offences themselves would not
feature highly. As a consequence it is not the only mechanism of identifying
likely perpetrators (see other examples below) or young people at risk, though
it is a useful tool to capture the possible severity of offending behaviour and
risk.


3.2 Operation Milvus

Operation Milvus was an initial meeting of key individuals from relevant
partner agencies such as representatives from the Safer Neighbourhood
Teams most impacted by gang culture, officers from the pro-active Serious
Youth Violence [SYV] Team, the violence/gang analysts from the Intelligence
unit, YOS, PPO staff, and Housing. What came next was a group discussion
and agreement by all involved as to who was a RED nominal, who was
AMBER and who was GREEN (see above).

There is also a fortnightly meeting where all representatives from the
agencies above as well others invited on a needs basis sit for roughly 2 hours
and discuss the recent activity of individuals and agree whether they should
be escalated upwards, moved downwards or removed completely. It also
provides impetus for action, which could range from a visit from any one of the
organisations to propose some pro-active work.



3.3 Blunt 2 activities

Operation Blunt2 is the name for an MPS wide operation that was first carried
out a number of years ago. It was deemed at the most senior levels that the
MPS had unacceptable levels of serious youth violence particularly in relation
to the carrying and use of knives on London's streets, hence the creation of
the operation. On May 19th 2008 Blunt 2 was launched stepping up the
action around the issue.

In terms of activity, it is vast and has greater emphasis on the 13 boroughs
termed as 'Blunt' boroughs of which Ealing is one.

Summary of some key Blunt sub-Operations:

Operation Verano - is a daily meeting held at MPS central Intel unit where
intelligence from the Serious Violence team, Met Intelligence Bureau, the
Coordination and Tasking Office [CaTO] and the Blunt Taskforce is sifted and
discussed with a view to tasking the available corporate and locally held
assets which fall under Operation Blunt 2.

These assets include Territorial Support Group officers, Q-cars (covert cars
whose purpose is to concentrate activity in robbery hotspot), Automatic
Number Plate Recognition teams aimed at stopping relevant vehicles, Air
Support Unit, Marine Unit, specific Search Dogs for firearms and drugs, Traffic
teams and source units.

Only after careful deliberation are decisions made as to that days postings of
the assets listed at Verano's disposal while not being used elsewhere i.e. for
elections, world cup work, etc. They are centrally monitored so can be
redeployed at a moments notice to address issues anywhere within the MPS.

Operation Hawk - was setup in 2009 for boroughs, whereby they used their
own and central resources to actively target, research and over a single day,
arrest as many key individuals as possible linked to SYV and gangs. Centrally
coordinated utilising TSG, Dogs, POLSA [specialist search officers], Financial
investigation officers and various other units, activity would start early morning
and go late into the night. A recent MPS wide run Operation resulted in 265
arrests and 34 weapons being recovered including 11 knives and 12 guns.

Operation Autumn nights - known locally as Operation Hafren - Used to
target the Period surrounding Halloween and Bonfire Night where centrally
coordinated patrols were used to better stem the generally high levels of
youth violence and disorder during this volatile period. We set up a local
operation as Ealing went over an above what was required corporately
through Autumn Nights. Performance analysis [carried out yesterday] of the
offence types Operation Hafren was targeting showed a 25% reduction in
robberies, 30% reduction in 'most serious violence' and a 50% reduction in
knife crime when comparing the period of 24th October to November 7th last
year to this year with improvements in detection rates.


Other: Other Blunt activity includes school involvement via structured visits,
poster campaigns, hosting international visits from European police services
and speakers, consulting on Anti Knife theatre for use within schools and
colleges, weapon sweeps, etc.

3.4 Schools Officers / knife arches

In Ealing Borough a dedicated SSP officer [schools officer] has been placed in
each secondary school, our two study centres share an officer, as do Ellen
Wilkinson and Twyford CE.

The feedback from all schools regarding the scheme is good, the relationship
built between our officers with the staff and pupils is positive. The school
management teams have quickly realised the benefits of having a dedicated
officer with their school, bearing in mind some schools were hostile at the
beginning it shows how far we have come. In just 3 years our partnership has
grown into arguably one of the most valuable assets within the borough.

Our secondary schools hold the attention of the vast majority of all 11 – 16
year olds who live on our borough in a structured disciplined environment.
Our SSP officers interact with these pupils on a daily basis. They deliver MPS
safety and crime reduction messages to them, they make them feel safer, and
they have become a trusted reference point of contact of authority for all these
children.

A crucial part of our model is that the officer belongs to the school. He or she
works alongside the staff on a daily basis. Is seen by the pupils every day, a
smile, a hello, a reassuring presence. This builds trust, all pupils know they
can approach their officer in confidence and communicate. All the SSP
officers will tell of stories of being approached by pupils with cries for help,
with stories, asking advice, giving information and intelligence. Many of these
pupils come from troubled backgrounds or are vulnerable and this interaction
allows for speedy intervention. There are many examples of valuable
intelligence being garnered of weapon carrying, organisation of fights and
other areas of tension allowing officers to react quickly and resolve these
issues before they get out of hand - can be exampled as recently as today!

It is essential that school staff are comfortable in passing information to police
about gang and other tensions. School gates can be flashpoints for the
violence and the presence of SSP and PCSOs has undoubtedly prevented
numerous incidents.

Whilst schools are encouraged to share information with us, it is fair to say
that nothing can replace the presence of an officer in a school. Every school,
regardless of its own challenges, have incidents and issues that require police
attention and when dealt with promptly these can be nipped in the bud and
prevented from escalating.

SSP officers help mould the youth's perception of all police officers and the
MPS at an early age. These perceptions will hopefully stay with them for life.
In summary, they offer an obvious opportunity of being able to influence a
generation in such a positive way and that value can be immeasurable.


3.5 Police Supporting Information:

      Appendix One: Map of hotspot areas

      Appendix Two: Comparative figures (where do we sit pan-London for
       knife offences) – PDF

4.0 Legal Implications:

There are no direct legal implications for Ealing Council as a result of this
report. However, if as a result of the recommendations made by scrutiny
panel there are any legal (or financial) implications this section would be
updated.

5.0 Financial Implications:

There are a number of concerns about future funding of many knife crime and
youth violence programmes. Many programmes in the YOS, voluntary sector
and police are either fully or wholly paid for by grant money including Safer
Stronger Communities Fund, part of Area Based Grant (ABG).

The Safer Ealing Partnership is due to discuss this and other high-risk areas
in relation to grant reductions for crime and community safety at its next
meeting on 17/12/10.

6.0 Other Implications:

(Include all other relevant implications including risk management; community
safety; links to strategic objectives; human rights, equalities and community
cohesion; staffing and workforce; property and assets; consultation)
 Consultation:

Name of consultee Department                            Date sent to Date         Comments appear
                                                        consultee    response     in report para:
                                                                     received
                                                                     from
                                                                     consultee

Internal
 Director           Executive Director
 Lawyer             Director of Legal Services
 Finance Officer    Director of Finance
Councillor          Cabinet Member for

External
A N Other           voluntary organisation
Police etc




 Report History:

Decision type:                                        Urgency item?


For Information                                  No




 Authorised by Cabinet      Date report          Report deadline:            Date report sent:
       member:               drafted:
      XX.XX.05              XX.XX.05                  XX.XX.05                   XX.XX.05

      Report no.:        Report author and contact for queries:
                         Natalie Reynolds, Head of Community Safety
                         reynoldsn@ealing.gov.uk ext 5554
Appendix One: The map below is a representation of the MPS and aims to identify areas attributed to gangs. Naturally,
this is very subjective and does not mean to say that the issues they cause are confined to these areas as there is
significant evidence to the contrary. However, it helps provide some geographic context impacted by gang member’s
home address, where they offend, etc
The map below is a ‘zoomed’ version of the previous but centrally focused on Ealing. As can be seen, the MDP gang are
 very much focused around Acton wards, particularly the South Acton Estate and the GRITSET around Norwood Green,
    namely the Windmill Park Estate. However, individuals affiliated to both are dotted over the borough and on other
                            boroughs and issues linked to them can and do occur all over.

				
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