Ten men from two rival gangs have been served with interim injunctions which ban them from associating with each other and entering certain areas in the county.
The injunction aims to end gang related violence and activity which was previously seen in Gloucester and Cheltenham in relation to a drugs feud. The interim injunction means the men, aged between 21 and 36, are forbidden from associating with each other and are excluded from entering certain areas, such as Gloucester Park and Chase Lane. Between August and December last year there were numerous incidents including stabbings and the discharging of a firearm which resulted in more than 20 arrests and a number of charges for violent disorder, drugs offences and possession of weapons.
Gloucestershire Constabulary launched the court action in partnership with both Gloucester City Council and Cheltenham Borough Council in a joint attempt to bring an end to the violent incidents. It is the largest interim group gang injunction secured in the county and it was granted at Bristol County Court after a 900-page file of evidence was prepared. Breach of the injunction could constitute contempt of court and lead to a maximum two-year prison sentence. Neighbourhood Policing Superintendent Paul Dutton said: “These injunctions give us greater power and control over these gang members as behaviour of this nature will not be tolerated and will be dealt with robustly. “We set out to disrupt the violent incidents which were escalating in severity and causing the Constabulary and the community concern. “The consequences of knife and drug crime can be devastating for families and communities and we are lucky that none of these incidents escalated to a fatality. “My officers will be enforcing the terms of the injunctions and making sure they adhere to the conditions as we will take any action necessary for them being breached. “We now turn to our communities to help us by acting as our eyes and ears and to inform us if you see these men in the exclusion zones or associating with each other.”
Cheltenham Borough Councillor Andrew McKinlay, Cabinet Member for Development and Safety said: “Cheltenham Borough Council is pleased to have worked with Gloucestershire Constabulary and Gloucester City Council on a joint approach to tackling the menace caused by these gangs in both Cheltenham and Gloucester. “It is clear that these gangs presented a risk to the general public in Cheltenham and the gang injunction will significantly reduce the ability of the gangs to carry out their criminal behaviour. “We will continue to work with the Constabulary to tackle the threats posed by organised criminal gangs both within Cheltenham and across Gloucestershire.” Police worked with Cheltenham Borough Council and Gloucester City Council to create a 900-page document completely full of evidence that underlies the impact this issue can have. His Honour Judge Cotter QC, Designated Civil Judge for Avon, Somerset and Gloucestershire described the body of evidence as “impressive” when granting the interim orders on Friday 2 February.
All the men in question are from Gloucester with exception of Joel Phillips aged 23 and from Cheltenham (pictured)