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Injunctions aim to curb Keighley gang crime
Members of a violent Keighley gang have had injunctions served on them by a county court judge as West Yorkshire Police used civil law powers for the first time to try and calm tensions.
Two-year orders ban the five men from parts of the town and include conditions such as not having more than one passenger in a car, other than for work reasons, and not being together in public.
Injunctions served on Jamaati gang members on Tuesday morning at Bradford County Court also banned the men from having more than 150ml of flammable liquid outside of their home.
His Honour Judge Gosnell warned the men, all from the Highfield area and in their late teens to early 20s, any serious breach of the order could land them in prison.
Seven members of a rival gang were due in court in the afternoon – so as not to meet the Jamaati members – for their injunctions to be served. But the hearing was adjourned as details of the orders could not be finalised.
They will appear before Leeds County Court on March 26 and are subject to interim orders until then.
It is the first time West Yorkshire Police has used powers under the Policing and Crime Act 2009, which allow officers to set specific conditions on those subject to injunctions.
Police sergeant Andy Simpson, of the Airedale and North Bradford division, said forces in Liverpool and South Yorkshire had used the powers with encouraging results.
“What they found is use of injunctions breaks up the cycle of gangs, and quite a lot of members are quite thankful they’ve been stopped from participating with others and have stopped offending.
“There’s peer pressure to get involved,” he said.
The orders follow 90 recorded violent crimes in Keighley since 2006, 40 of which were in 2012 and linked to the two gangs.
Acting for West Yorkshire Police, Colin Quinn told the court the orders were necessary to prevent the men from engaging in gang-related violence.
Judge Gosnell told two of the Jamaati members who were in court in the morning that they could be in contempt of court if they breached the order.
He said the order was to protect the men, as well as preventing certain behaviour by them.
He added: “I hope things calm down and we don’t need to address this issue again.”
The orders will be reviewed at the end of the first year.