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Police target gang-related crime in Keighley
Police have slapped injunctions on eight men in a bid to stamp out gang-related violence in Keighley.
Legal restrictions were served yesterday in a new crime crackdown, with another four expected to be enforced this week.
Airedale and North Bradford divisional commander, Chief Superintendent Angela Williams, said: “Using every means possible, we will ensure those who bring fear and intimidation into our communities are targeted.
“We will not stand for incidents of disorder at any level, and those who are involved can expect serious consequences.
“Should these men now breach their injunctions, they face arrest and the full weight of criminal proceedings.”
Police action comes after 90 recorded violent crime offences in the area since 2006, including disorder, assault and arson.
In a first for West Yorkshire Police, the force applied to the courts using new legislation under the Policing and Crime Act 2009. This allows officers to set specific conditions on those subject to the injunctions.
Six warrants were also executed at addresses in Keighley yesterday morning, and three people were arrested in connection with the alleged sale of stolen vehicles. A VW Golf GTi was seized.
Keighley Neighbourhood Policing Team inspector, Tony Reed, said: “Residents told us about their concerns and we’ve acted upon them. We’re committed to ensuring the town remains a safe place to work, live and visit.”
Keighley Central councillor, Khadim Hussain, said the police deserved support to help them maintain public safety in the town. But he added this type of injunction needed to be enforced carefully and fairly. “This has to go through a correct process – we don’t want innocent people being implicated,” he said.
Coun David Green, leader of Bradford Council, said: “We work closely with the police and welcome the serving of these injunctions. The behaviour of individuals who threaten violence or cause disorder will not be tolerated.”
Chief Supt Williams added: “We’ll use every tool available to curb the activities of those who seek to bring disruption and disorder to our communities.
“Where we’re unable to pursue criminal charges, we will always look for possible alternatives.
“The injunctions require evidence on the balance of probability in order for them to be served. After researching this latest legislation and realising its potential, we immediately looked to implement it locally.
“The injunctions come with conditions, such as those which prevent contact with certain individuals, the use of threats or violence upon another person and also the use of a vehicle with anyone other than immediate family.
“What this means is they cannot carry on operating within their networks, nor continue in their exploits.”