Gangs in Redbridge don’t fight over postcodes but work together to make money

Knife crime and gangs was discussed at the external scrunity meeting

Knife crime and gangs was discussed at the external scrunity meeting - Credit: Archant

Gangs in Redbridge are moving away from postcode rivalries and working together for business reasons.

Most of the gang-related violence in the borough is not between different affiliated groups but “in house” fighting about leadership.

Speaking at a crime scrutiny meeting, a Redbridge Council officer said gangs in the borough are different from gangs across London and are using business models to maximise profits.

“Gangs in Redbridge are not about geography,” he said.

“With the Hainault gang, members come from the Woodford, Barkingside and Hainault area.

“The violence is not between different gangs but internally.”

Speaking after the meeting police borough commander for Redbridge, Havering and Barking and Dagenham, Jason Gwilliam, said gangs are using a business model to work together and export drugs along county lines to other locations.

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He also said more and more gangs across the capital have started to do this.

“People recognise the money that can be made and there are very intelligent and sophisticated people running it,” he said.

“Gangs are losing the identity of the postcode but enforcing their business with violence.

“When we are tackling gangs, if we just go after the low-level dealers on the street, when they are arrested they are just replaced immediately.

“That is why we need to gather intelligence on people who are higher up.”

The commander also urged residents who order in cocaine and other barbiturates to think about the impact of their actions and said there wouldn’t be suppliers without demand.

Council officer John Richards confirmed that gang violence will now be seen as a priority for the borough.

“When people are murdered, keeping the street clean is not a priority.

“Civic pride is being deleted – I am not saying it is not a council priority but if we have a finite number of resources (for the Redbridge safer communities partnership priorities) and people are getting murdered, it has to reflect that.”