Youth violence an ‘emerging threat’ says Redbridge police chief

Youth violence is an “emerging threat” in Redbridge according to the borough’s top police chief, but it is being tackled before it blots the landscape of the area, she has insisted.

Borough Commander Det Ch Supt Sue Williams told the Recorder youth violence was on the decrease in Redbridge.

But she did sound a warning that “gangs” from neighbouring boroughs, including Waltham Forest and Barking and Dagenham, are coming into Redbridge to commit crimes.

She said: “The transport links are so good it’s very easy for them to get into and out of the borough.

“We’ve been planning for it [the threat of youth violence] and are prepared to deal with it so it doesn’t become an issue in the borough.

“We’ve been working closely with the schools, the local authority and the safer neighbourhood teams.

“The community safety partnership has been working very closely to monitor crime rates.

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“When we see a spike we’re in there straight away as a partnership.”

According to the most up to date crime figures, there have been 4,149 reported cases of violence against the person in the 12 months to May, 105 less than in the previous 12 months.

Gun crime is also down, with sixty reported offences compared to 74 in the 12 months to May 2010.

Mrs Williams also said 60 per cent of burglaries in the borough are committed by people who do not live in Redbridge.

She said: “Serious youth violence is in reduction.

“Even if they’re not local, we know who they are.”

And in a message to young people thinking of coming into the borough to cause trouble she said: “If you come to Ilford we will be watching you.”