‘Use of gang injunctions in Doncaster having big impact on organised crime groups’

The use of gang injunctions in Doncaster over the last two years has had a ‘significant effect’ on tackling organised crime across the borough, police and council bosses have said.

By George Torr, Local Democracy Reporter
Thursday, 24th February 2022, 2:03 pm

Both South Yorkshire Police and Doncaster Council managed to secure five gang injunctions last year against ‘mapped gang members’ and these orders are in place until February 2023.

Bill Hotchkiss, head of community safety at Doncaster Council, said the use of these injunctions in one part of the borough – understood to be Mexborough and surrounding areas – has made a big impact in reducing organised crime.

Gang injunctions are a civil tool that allows the police or a local authority to apply to a county court for an injunction against an individual who has been involved in gang-related violence.

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Doncaster Superintendent Neil Thomas from South Yorkshire Police and Bill Hotchkiss who is head of community safety at Doncaster Council explaing how gang injunctions work and the significant impact they've had on organised crime in the borough.

They allow courts to place a range of positive requirements and prohibitions on the behaviour and activities of an individual where this is necessary to prevent the individual from engaging, encouraging, or assisting, gang-related violence. It can also protect the individual from gang-related violence.

Gang injunctions were introduced with the purpose of preventing acts of serious violence from occurring and breaking down gang culture and preventing younger gang members’ behaviour from escalating;

They also provide the police/council to engage with gang members and develop effective strategies for them to exit the gang.

When gang members are released from prison, Mr Hotckiss also said that they are able to liaise with the Probation Service so that an offender has licensing conditions put on them to deter them from falling back into criminality.

Doncaster Superintendent Neil Thomas from South Yorkshire Police said that further work and to stop child criminal exploitation in the borough (CCE) has resulted in no borough child being referred to a national framework. This was also down to the success of gang injunctions.

Mr Hotchkiss said: “One of the things we’ve done in the last two years is we’ve applied a remedy called gang injunctions against a very active organised crime group in one part of Doncaster and those injunctions I feel have had a significant impact.

“As a partnership, we have supplied information for those getting a gang injunction – they’ve not been easy but it’s had a significant effect in terms of their activity.

“It puts restrictions on people in terms of who they can associate with and where they can go. If you’re a gang member then that has a big impact on your activities. It won’t stop it completely but when you see people who shouldn’t be together, then the police can take strong action.

“The work around gang injunctions has been highlighted as good practice in South Yorkshire and other people are starting to use them the same way we’ve been doing it in Doncaster.”