12 men have been handed 'gangbos' in West Yorkshire for 'inciting fear' and various offences firing guns, drug dealing and attempted murder.
The police say the individuals have been involved in a catalogue of significant and violent crimes in the Huddersfield area including firearms discharges, possession of offensive weapons, drug dealing, violent assaults, robberies and attempted murder.
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Steps were taken by the police to build a case for gang injunctions – dubbed ‘gangbos’ - under the Policing and Crime Act 2009.
The Act allows the police or local authority to apply to a county court or the High Court for a civil injunction against an individual who has been shown to be involved in gang-related violence or to have encouraged or assisted it.
Over the past year, the incidents involving these gangs have caused considerable disruption and concern amongst the local communities. Now, Kirklees District Police, with support of partners, Kirklees Council have taken this step to apply and enforce these injunctions against these individuals, highlighting how these incidents have impacted, not only on the lives of people in Huddersfield but on police resources.
On 20 March this year, Judge Davey QC granted interim injunctions against the 12 men at Bradford County Court.
The orders include a number of conditions that place strict limitations on the subjects and can see them arrested for any breaches.
These include a ban from a number of locations across Huddersfield, restrictions on who they can associate with and restrictions on their conduct and behaviour.
Further court hearings will be scheduled and once they have taken place, the police will be able to release further details of the full injunctions.
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Chief Superintendent Steve Cotter, Kirklees District Commander, said: “We took the unprecedented steps to apply for these injunctions for some of the District’s most prolific offenders. Violent crime and gang-related activity is taken extremely seriously and we will do everything in our power to ensure that Kirklees is a safe place to live.
“These orders place severe restrictions on the ringleaders and associates of these feuds and make them liable to arrest and potential imprisonment for any breaches.
“The granting of these orders is part of our continuing strategy to disrupt these criminal elements and to avoid any repeat of the completely unacceptable scenes that the people of Huddersfield had to witness for too long.
“We hope this move will also send a clear message to others who think they can break the law and cause fear in our communities without having to face the consequences. We simply will not tolerate this type of criminal behaviour and those involved in it should expect robust action from the police and our partner agencies.”
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Jacqui Gedman, Chief Executive of Kirklees Council, said: “I want to reassure people that Huddersfield remains a safe place to work or visit and that these arrests are about making sure it stays that way.
“As a council through our community teams we are committed to supporting the police to prevent anti- social and criminal behaviour taking place on our streets. It is important that we do not let a small number of people, who act in an illegal manner for their own benefit, prevent everyone else from going about their daily business.
“As such we wholeheartedly support the introduction of these injunctions and will do anything we can to support the police with them.”