Gangs warned over estate rivalries

THE deputy mayor of London has spoken out about gang rivalry in the borough at the launch of the new policing strategy by the Metropolitan Police Association (MPA). Kit Malthouse, who is also the chairman of the MPA, said he was aware of the simmering te

THE deputy mayor of London has spoken out about gang rivalry in the borough at the launch of the new policing strategy by the Metropolitan Police Association (MPA).

Kit Malthouse, who is also the chairman of the MPA, said he was aware of the simmering tensions between youths in the Mozart Estate in Queen's Park and their rivals in South Kilburn, and the Met is stepping up its efforts to fight it.

Mr Malthouse spoke out at an event held in Ealing Town Hall as Daniel Omari Smith was laid to rest last week.

The 22-year-old, from Queen's Park, was gunned down outside KFC in Harrow Road, Paddington, on May 22, in what police believe is a case of mistaken identity.


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The electrician, who is a former pupil of Cardinal Hinsley School in Harlesden, has neither gang-related connections nor links with any criminality.

Detectives from Operation Trident, the Met's specialist team that probes gun crime in London, believed he was wrongly targeted as part of a feud between the rival gangs.

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Mr Malthouse said: "There are rivalries between the estates in Westminster and Queen's Park.

"Westminster police have set up a specialist desk to tackle this, and Brent is going to be looking at it too.

"We have got long term problems in our communities with guns and knives, but this battle is one we will win.

"The public should be confident in knowing we are doing all we can to tackle this problem. Tackling violence across London is the Met's priority.

"Brent has had specific work around stop and search and Trident which will continue."

But, Mr Malthouse also warned that voluntary organisations working in crime prevention are likely to have their funding slashed in coming months, raising a question mark over the future of many crime prevention projects.

Two weeks ago, the Times exclusively revealed that one of the biggest organisations in Brent which tackles violent crime, had its funding slashed by 75 per cent this year.

Not Another Drop, which organises the annual peace march in the borough, has been given just �10,000 funding from Brent Council - �30,000 less that last year.

Mr Malthouse said: "The government must focus its efforts on projects that are proven to be effective.

"Too often projects are given money because people feel an obligation to fund them. We must target our resources in the organisations which have a strong evidence base proving the benefits they bring the community."

In the future voluntary groups bidding for public money will have to evidentially prove the benefits they bring to the community through a new initiative, Project Oracle.

kate.ferguson@archant.co.uk

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