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Redbridge Police knew Ilford stabbing venue already had gang links

PUBLISHED: 07:00 09 February 2017 | UPDATED: 09:17 09 February 2017

A 22-year-old man was shot and stabbed outside Praba banqueting hall, in High Road, Ilford. Picture: Matthew Clemenson

A 22-year-old man was shot and stabbed outside Praba banqueting hall, in High Road, Ilford. Picture: Matthew Clemenson

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Police officers had expressed concerns about a party venue’s links to gang activity just days before a man was stabbed there in a huge melee.

The 22-year-old was knifed outside Praba Banqueting Suite in High Road, Ilford, at 5am on Sunday, in the midst of a brawl. A gun was also fired. Onlookers described the scene as a “war zone”, as up to 1,000 people were involved.

In a letter five days earlier, licensing officer Pc Alan Felix urged Redbridge Council not to allow an event at Praba on February 11.

“The venue has been the subject of reliable reports of gang nominals attending with the intention to cause disorder and possibly commit crime,” he reasoned.

“For this reason the police are objecting under the prevention of crime and disorder as recent intel has suggested this venue is starting to gain links with gang nominals.”

The officer leading the investigation, Det Insp David Bowen, of London’s anti-gang unit Trident, has also criticised the venue’s security facilities.

He told the Recorder: “Our investigation has also been made more difficult by the fact the venue did not have any CCTV that recorded to a hard drive, instead only going to a live stream supposedly monitored by a member of the security team.”

Praba Banqueting Suite declined to comment on the matter.


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