Trident Celebrates its First Year Anniversary

07 February 2013

gangs, youth violence

Trident Celebrates its First Year Anniversary

The Trident Gang Crime Command was launched on the 8 February last year (2012). Historically Trident focused primarily on gun crime and homicide within the black community. The launch last year saw Trident re-focus its efforts through a new command and it now leads the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) response to tackling gang-related crime and associated violence, with additional responsibility for the prevention and investigation of all shootings in London, regardless of the victim's background.

This has meant a more coordinated and consistent approach across London and we've already seen some really promising success with stabbings and shootings among young people falling significantly this year.

- Overall serious youth violence has fallen by 28%, equating to 1,557 fewer victims
- Knife injuries involving those under the age of 25 have also reduced by 28%, equating to 436 fewer victims
- The number of times a gun has been discharged has dropped by 18% equating to 77 fewer shooting

Enforcement activity has led to officers from Trident making over 4,000 arrests targeting gang members since April 2012.

- In March 2012, there were 217 'top 2000' most harmful gang members in custody and as of 21st January 2013 that figure is now 561. Additionally 123 of the 'top 2000' are subject to judicial restrictions such as ASBOs and gang injunctions.
- Last year alone the MPS seized over 340 firearms and large quantities of ammunition, of which 91 were recovered by Trident officers.
- In 2012, Trident led investigations have seen sentences totalling 1334 years, including 16 life sentences.

In addition to enforcement activity a fundamental aspect of Trident's work is prevention. Since April last year over 600 schools were visited, reaching 18,000 young people. Trident has also worked hard to enhance the care provided to victims and witnesses, and the relationship it has with Londoners through its community Independent Advisory Group (IAG). The command also works with other partner agencies and local groups to help support young people to enable them to be diverted away from a life in gangs and crime, such as the Damilola Taylor Foundation, Safer London Foundation, the Princes Trust, Growing Against Gangs and Violence, St Giles Trust, Catalyst Housing, Capital Conflict Management (CCM) and many more.

Detective Chief Superintendent Dean Haydon, Head of Trident Gang Crime Command, said: "Since the launch of the Trident Gang Crime Command in February 2012 we have worked with boroughs across London to target the most 'high risk' gang members and yesterday's operation in Waltham Forest was an excellent example of how our Central Gangs Unit are directly supporting local policing and the war on gangs. Furthermore the capital has seen a sustained 20 per cent reduction in gun crime over the past four years and overall reduction in stabbings and serious youth violence. Gun related murders are also down significantly. Since April 2012, there have been four homicides, compared to 14 during the same period the previous year.

"This year we have seen some fantastic results in terms of enforcement and I am proud of the significant contribution made by Trident officers and staff to these exceptional reductions. Tackling gang-related violence remains a key priority for the MPS and we will continue to target and convict those who choose to carry weapons and cause harm in London's communities.

"I have one important message for gang members - If you are willing to change your ways - then we will help you direct your energies into something more positive, however if you choose to continue living a gang-related criminal lifestyle we will target you and all areas of your criminality."

Commander Steve Rodhouse said: "When we launched the new command last year our aim was to drastically lower levels of serious youth violence, knife crime and gun crime in the capital, make the Met's response faster and to ensure we had the appropriate numbers of officers and staff focused on tackling gang crime. Our new approach is clearly working and we are now seeing reductions across all gang-related crime types.

"However we recognise that there is much more to be done and recent tragic events demonstrate that we cannot afford to be complacent. We do not underestimate the importance of working with other agencies across London, Trident and the MPS as a whole are committed to working with our partners and community groups to achieve a meaningful and long term impact on the causes of gang violence.

"We know that to tackle gang crime effectively we need the assistance of London's communities - it is only with their help that we can bring offenders to justice and to protect young people."

Stephen Greenhalgh, Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, said: "Tackling gangs is a priority for the Mayor and the success of the Trident Command in its first year shows that real progress is being made. We are determined to enhance this good enforcement effort by the Met with effective new programmes that both prevent youngsters from joining gangs and also divert youngsters from gangs. By combating serious youth violence and the lure of gangs we can make London the greatest and safest big city on earth."