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Gang war on the streets

PUBLISHED: 10:53 22 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:45 24 August 2010

A TEENAGER and a man were stabbed and others were forced to flee for their lives after youths from rival neighbouring housing estates clashed on Saturday evening. Around 50 schoolboys believed to be from St Raphael s Estate in Neasden, and Church Road Est

A TEENAGER and a man were stabbed and others were forced to flee for their lives after youths from rival neighbouring housing estates clashed on Saturday evening.

Around 50 schoolboys believed to be from St Raphael's Estate in Neasden, and Church Road Estate in Willesden, cycled into the Stonebridge Estate and launched a vicious attack on shocked bystanders at around 8.30pm.

The black, Asian, white and Somalian youths, who range from just 13 to 15 years of age, were wearing red and purple bandanas which are associated with St Raphael's and Church End, respectively.

Youths from Stonebridge are said to wear blue bandanas.

A 17-year-old boy was hit and stabbed in the head while walking on Shakespeare Road.

Minutes later on the same street a 23-year-old was beaten and stabbed by a mob of around six youths who surrounded him and asked him where he was from.

Both victims were treated in hospital and have since been discharged.

A witness, who asked not be named, said it was a miracle that no-one was killed.

He said: "They were like a pack of animals on bicycles. It was sheer madness.

"It's like some one rounded them up from St Raphael's and Church End and said 'come on let's go to Stonebridge.'

"Luckily I was indoors otherwise, no doubt, I would have been targeted.

"Something has got to be done about this before it's too late."

In an unprecedented move, Brent Police Borough Commander, Mark Toland issued a stark warning. he said: "We have put a lot of police out on to the street including those from Operation Blunt 2 (anti-knife crime team).

"We are going to make some arrest and identify anyone who was involved in the altercation.

"We will also be looking at CCTV of the youngsters to try and identify them; if they are involved in any crime we have their images.

"We will be tough."

In addition, Chief Supt Insp Toland said officers from his youth engagement team will be visiting the parents of children they suspect may be steered into criminality.

However, a parent told the Times she fears the police may be too heavy handed and target the wrong children.

She said: "My son has relatives in Stonebridge, St Raphael's and Church End so does that mean he can't go there at all?

"Someone innocent can lose their life but I'm scared the police are going to go on a campaign and get the wrong people.

"Some parents are to blame for this. They let their children roam the streets all hours.

"It's not fair for us and not fair for our children who aren't doing anything."

Anyone with information about the riot can call Brent CID on 020 8733 3709 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

l GUN-toting thugs riding push bikes shot up a house and fled.

A Times source reported that a man came out of his home in Bentham Walk, St Raphael's Estate, and was attacked before running back into the house on Monday, October 19.

Two shots were then fired at the door by a group of five or six men at around 9.50pm on push bikes who then made off towards Monks Park.

Police would not comment on the incident but said that shots were fired at a door and nobody was hurt.

Anyone with information should call Operation Trident on 020 8733 4774 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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