Police pledge to highlight dangers of criminal gangs to children in South Kilburn

Suspect members of criminal gangs were arrested yesterday (pic credit: Jan Nevill)

Suspect members of criminal gangs were arrested yesterday (pic credit: Jan Nevill) - Credit: Archant

Officers plan to visit schools and organisations following yesterday’s raids

Police have pledged to work with local children to highlight the dangers of joining criminal gangs following a series of dawn raids on the South Kilburn Estate yesterday.

Hours after officers stormed 15 addresses and made 11 arrests, a meeting was held at the Marion Community Centre, in Stafford Road, to give residents the chance to air their views about the raids.

Responding to concerns that young people should be given more support, Chief Inspector Sean Lynch said officers will be visiting local schools and organisations to speak to youths.

He said: “It’s important that schools are made aware of what has happened and we will be contacting them to make them aware.

“It’s clearly important to work with local youth in the area to ensure they are kept out of trouble and we need to establish ways of doing that such as working with youth organisations.”

During the meeting, which had a low turnout, police also discussed the Kickz programme, which works with youngsters through football in an attempt to keep them off the streets and how to increase participation.

Most Read

They also reaffirmed that they could still possibly evict those caught breaking their tenancy agreements by engaging in criminality.

Ch Ins Lynch said: “We will be working closely with landlords to see if tenancy agreements have been broken, in some cases it may be necessary to look at pursuing an eviction.”

The raids took place as part of Operation Grissino targeting suspected drug dealing gang members.

Officers discovered a cannabis factory at one address and crack cocaine, heroin and cash were seized at other properties.

Grissino comes under the umbrella of Operation Dozza which is tackling the tension between gangs in South Kilburn and the neighbouring Mozart Estate in Westminster.

Ch Ins Lynch told the meeting: “It’s an ongoing issue that revolves around territory; we are committed to stamping out gang related activity and are working closely with Westminster borough on how best to achieve this.”