“One Rule for All” approach announced for gang members in pilot areas
On 22 January 2015 the Mayor of London announced a new pilot scheme to tackle gang crime to be launched in Haringey, Westminster and Lambeth. The “one rule for all” approach to the “Shield” initiative means that all members of a gang will be punished should any gang member commit an offence.
The police are due to call in people they believe to be members of a gang and warn them of this new approach. The announcement suggests a range of criminal and civil sanctions could be used on gang members where any member of a gang commits an offence. In particular it is said these will “include injunctions preventing them from entering a certain area, or requiring them to be recalled to prison if on licence, or mandate them to attend an employment course.” It is not clear how all these sanctions will work in practice, what legal framework the police intend to use to enforce them or how challengeable they may be.
In addition to the sanctions, there is extra funding allocated to assist those who approach the authorities wishing to leave a gang. They will be supported by extra help with housing and other issues that might help them leave their previous lifestyle.
Read the full announcement here.