Operation Trident team established after fatal shootings in Brent to be broken up
- Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images
Officers from specialist team which investigates gun crime will be deployed elsewhere
A specialist police team established after a series of fatal shootings in Brent and Lambeth is to broken up, the Met announced today.
There has been a mixed reaction to the news that officers from Operation Trident, which specialised in gun crime in the black community, will be deployed elsewhere in changes.
The team was formed in 1998 in response to a series of shootings and murders in Brent and south London.
Last year the Met set up Trident Gang Crime Command which tackled the growing problem of youth violence on the streets.
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The command, which focused on proactive operations, worked alongside officers from Operation Trident.
Under the new changes officers from Operation Trident will be transferred to the murder squad and other teams within the Met.
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Claudia Webbe is the founder and former chair of trident advisory group, a panel of members if the community who worked with and scrutinised officers, she said the changes were wrong.
She told the Times: “The whole point of setting up a dedicated unit in the first place was to bring sensitivity and focus on the disproportionate number s of black people die at the end of a bullet.
“We should not become complacent because shootings are down this is not the time to make the change
“Trident has been successful because it built confidence with the very community that had previously criticized the police.
“Without that dedicated team we don’t have the specialist, sensitive and caring approach which took years of education, input and focus. This will all be wiped away.”
Cllr Lincoln Beswick, Brent Council’s lead member for policing and community safety, also aired his concerns.
He said: “There’s so many changes in policing at the moment that people should be concerned.
“People depended on Trident to support the community.
“As a person who has been fighting crime most of my public life I am devastated by this news.”
However the mother of a Kilburn man shot dead in a nightclub in King’s Cross seven years ago said the team being dissolved might not be a bad idea.
The killers of Jean Ross’ 22-year-old son Daniel are still walking the streets despite murdering him in view of around 100 revellers.
She said: “Trident have obviously done some good work but from my point of view because my case is unresolved I don’t think they have done enough.
“I have the feeling they haven’t done all they can do.
“I hope something better comes out of these changes.”
Announcing the changes, Steve Rodhouse, Trident Commander for Gangs and Organised Crime, said: “Trident is changing to meet the current need of the MPS and all Londoners.
“We are in actual fact placing more of our resources into proactivity with the clear aim of preventing gun, gang and knife crime and most importantly protecting young people.
“I do recognise that Trident Gang Command has developed some significant experience around these investigations and has also developed good relationships with some of our BME communities most affected by gun crime.
“This expertise will not be lost and will still be available to investigators.”