Eighteen men from two Birmingham crime gangs will be served with injunctions banning them from entering large parts of the city and associating with each other.
In a landmark ruling – believed to be the largest group gang injunction ever secured – West Midlands Police and Birmingham City Council secured full injunctions against the 18 men suspected of involvement in gun and drug offences.
L-R: Naasir Francis, Akeen Ivy-Foster, Ravelle Hutchinson, Tesfa Bernard-Wheeler, Rayani Sutherland, Omarni Bernard-Sewell
It means the men, aged between 19 and 29, are forbidden from associating with each other and entering areas of Birmingham, including the city
centre, Handsworth, Newtown, Winson Green and Lozells for the next two years.
The injunctions – granted on Thursday (13 July) after more than 80 witnesses from the Home Office and police gave evidence at Birmingham Crown Court – also allow officers to restrict the vehicles and mobile phones used by the men.
Lead detective from the Force CID Prevent Team, Detective Sergeant Ian Comfort, said: “We set out to disrupt and curtail gang activity following around 20 firearm offences involving Birmingham gangs during the summer of 2015 and into the start of 2016.
“We secured interim injunctions to reduce the violence and ensure the community had on-going respite from the incidents. We also dealt swiftly with a number of subsequent breaches.
“This is relatively new legislation and we believe that securing final full injunctions on such a large number of gang members is a UK first. The injunctions are applied for in the civil court in addition to sentences handed out by the criminal court for offences. They are an additional measure to help control the offenders and keep the community safe.”
DS Comfort continued: “We have been working closely with Birmingham City Council and other agencies to secure these injunctions and we will continue to work with these men if they wish to turn their back on a gang lifestyle.”
L-R: Lawrence Morgan, Jerome Jones, Jerome Christie, Ushane Jeffers, Kayne Robinson, Ashai Grey
Birmingham City Council and West Midlands Police previously secured interim injunctions following a spate of gun and drug-related crime in the city during 2015.
Superintendent Mat Shaer, the Neighbourhood Policing Superintendent for Birmingham, said: “These injunctions are not sought lightly and the police together with the local council and other voluntary groups and charities will have already made exhaustive efforts with these men and their families to try and steer them away gang culture.
“My officers will be responsible for enforcing the terms of the injunctions and if the men fail to adhere to the conditions they can and will be arrested.
“These civil injunctions add to our armoury and do not replace criminal prosecutions or investigations.
“These powers allow us to manage the men and restrict their movements. We can restrict their associations and where they are allowed to go within the area.
“We would like to thank the people living in the area where these gangs operate for having the courage to come forward with information that has helped us secure the injunctions.
“We now turn to our communities to act as our eyes and ears and inform us if they see these men associating with each other or if they see them in the exclusion zones.”
L-R: Jacob Brown, Cash Wallace, Ishmail Lee, Isaac Duffus, Baboucar Huma, Reial Phillips
West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson, said: “I am delighted the authorities in our region have been able to come together to take this really tough action and disrupt these gangs from their criminal behaviour.
“These young men are dangerous and a menace to ordinary people. They must be stopped from behaving like thugs and terrorising hard working people. In the autumn, I will also publish a plan which will set out how we intend to tackle the problem of gangs in the West Midlands.”
Main exclusion zone
Councillor Tristan Chatfield, Cabinet Member for Transparency, Openness and Equality at Birmingham City Council, said: “I pay tribute to the efforts of all involved in securing these injunctions. They are leading the way in using the powers at their disposal to fight these gangs.
“We will not allow these criminals to create fear amongst the citizens of Birmingham. Our city is a great place to live and this action shows that through partnership working, we will do everything we can to ensure this remains the case.”
The men are:
- Naasir Francis aged 19 from Nechells
- Baboucar Huma aged 19 from Handsworth
- Akeen Ivy-Foster aged 20 from Springhill
- Ravelle Hutchinson aged 20 from Winson Green
- Tesfa Bernard-Wheeler aged 21 from Hockley
- Rayani Sutherland aged 21 from Aston
- Omarni Bernard-Sewell aged 21 from Selly Oak
- Lawrence Morgan aged 21 from Nechells
- Jerome Jones aged 21 from Erdington
- Jerome Christie aged 21 from Nechells
- Reial Phillips aged 21 from Winson Green
- Ushane Jeffers aged 23 from Newtown
- Kayne Robinson aged 23 from Springhill
- Ashai Grey aged 23 from Walsall
- Jacob Brown aged 24 from Handsworth
- Cash Wallace aged 24 from Winson Green
- Ishmail Lee aged 29 from Wolverhampton
- Isaac Duffus aged 28 from Erdington