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The Minister for London Jo Johnson has met officers tackling gang crime in the capital. Westminster’s Integrated Gangs Unit (IGU) was set up in 2011 after what the authorities describe as a significant rise in incidents in London. The aim for the IGU; bringing people together to find ways to stop gang-related incidents.
After the Thursday, July 5 meeting, Jo Johnson said: “This government is determined to protect young people and steer them away from violence. This includes making sure that young people across the city are given support to escape the cycle of violence that being involved with a gang often entails. It was fascinating to hear about the work the Integrated Gangs Unit is doing to protect young people, and I look forward to receiving regular updates about their work.”
David Harvey, Conservative deputy leader of Westminster City Council, said: “The integrated gangs unit was a Westminster first and represents an across-the-board way of trying to tackle gang problems – not just by enforcement, but by ensuring young people have better options than drifting into gangs. It was great to have the opportunity for the Minister for London to learn more about how we go about this work. The nature of gang activity is changing away from ‘postcode’ groups, and our integrated gangs unit is evolving with that – partnering with police, other local authorities and agencies to stop gangs establishing their networks. It is an approach that is getting results and I hope will receive continued funding.”
The IGU includes managers from a variety of backgrounds, including a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service specialist, dedicated police officers and council enforcement officers. The team is led by a service manager from Westminster Family Services and a deputy manager from Community Protection.
As a junior minister at the Department for Transport, Johnson is also responsible for rail security.
For the Government’s Serious Violence Strategy, visit the Home Office website.
Separately, Westminster Council has a new Housing Standards Task force, investigating hundreds of properties, seeking to shut those unlawfully nightly letting, including for sex work; and for parties causing nuisance from anti-social behaviour.