Gang injunctions used for the first time in response to youth crime in Basingstoke
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Hampshire Constabulary has secured gang injunctions against fifteen people as part of a partnership response to youth crime in Basingstoke.
The civil injunction power, introduced in the Policing and Crime Act 2009, allows police and local authorities to place a range of prohibitions and requirements on the behaviour and activities of people involved in gangs and criminal activity.
Today (Friday 26 March), two injunctions and three interim injunctions were secured against five adults following a hearing at Portsmouth County Court.
Timothy Banbury, 23, of Salisbury Gardens, Basingstoke and Joseph Naisbitt, 19, of Priestley Road, Basingstoke received full injunctions.
Cameron Birch, 18, of London Road, Hook, Travine Farrell, 18, of Campsie Close, Basingstoke and Joshua Lennon, 18, of Portsmouth Way, Basingstoke received interim injunctions.
Today’s hearing follows another at Basingstoke Youth Court on Friday 19 March, where ten male teenagers, aged either 16 or 17, also received injunctions.
The conditions of the orders for the group include not to associate or communicate with each other, either via phone, internet or any other electronic device.
Five of the group of 15 have been prohibited from owning or having more than one mobile phone or sim card.
For nine of the group, they have also been made subject to a number of conditions, relating to education, including a having 95 per cent attendance record.
Nine of the group are required to work with and attend meetings with social workers.
The full order will be in place for two years. If any of the group breaches the restrictions, they will be arrested and liable to receive a custodial sentence.
Officers from Basingstoke’s High Harm Team worked to build up evidence of the group’s behaviour in applying for the gang injunctions.
It is the first time Hampshire Constabulary has applied to use a gang injunction.
Chief Inspector Matt Reeves, Basingstoke district commander, said: “The purpose of these injunctions are to prevent gang-related activity and to give these young people a chance to stop a pattern of reoffending.
“We have seen a number of gang-related robberies in the town in the past year, often carried out by groups of young people on lone males. Some of the offences have involved weapons.
“While we have investigated incidents as they have occurred, and arrested and charged those responsible, we have also been working closely with our partners in Youth Offending Team, education and Children’s Services to tackle the wider issue of youth crime in Basingstoke.
“On numerous occasions, we have attempted interventions with named subjects to try and prevent further reoffending.
“We received the support of our partners for the use of this power and today the court agreed with our case that these restrictions are proportionate and necessary to prevent further harm to our communities.
“An enormous amount of work has gone into securing these injunctions. Most of this has been behind the scenes with our partners, working together tirelessly to tackle serious violence and the misery it brings.
“Tackling drug-related harm including violence is a priority, and we will not hesitate to use all powers at our disposal to stop those involved from harming others.”