December 9 2013 Latest news:
Melissa York, Reporter
Friday, August 23, 2013
Three brothers have been charged for drug offences following raids to crack down on gangs planning trouble ahead of the Notting Hill Carnival.
Officers from the Met’s Trident Gang Command joined up with Newham’s Gangs and Firearms Unit, based in Plaistow, to bash down the doors of residential addresses of young men thought to be in Stratford’s Maryland Gang.
The 16-year-old youth was the first to be arrested during a dawn raid and he has been charged with intent to supply Class A drugs and he is due to appear at Snaresbrook Crown Court on September 5.
The teenager’s brothers were also arrested during the dawn raids and the 25-year-old has been charged with possession and intent to supply Class B drugs.
He is due to appear at Snaresbrook Crown Court on September 5 while his older brother, aged 28, has been charged with possession of Class B drugs and he will appear at Thames Magistrates Court on October 24.
Police have tracked gang activity on social media such as Twitter and Facebook for a long time and officers have teamed up with the Council’s enforcement team to pull 76 videos made by local gangs to recruit members and antagonise other groups.
However, police revealed on Wednesday for the first time that they were watching controversial website Ask.fm as tensions were rising with gang activity on the web in the lead up to the carnival over the bank holiday weekend.
Det Sgt Rob Wiggins told the Evening Standard: “We have noticed some heightened tensions between gang members as a result of the Ask FM website.
“They are using Ask FM because it is anonymous, they are posing as individuals and make statements about gangs ruling their district and taunting rivals.”
The website, which has been in the public eye recently after it was linked to a teenage suicide, did not wish to comment but its moderators have been reviewing bullying every 24 hours and it has made its “report abuse” button easier to find.
In total, around 250 police officers were enlisted for the London-wide operation and 112 people were arrested after carrying out 114 warrants for offences including robbery, theft and possession of drugs with intent to supply.
Officers also seized around £4,000 cash under the Proceeds of Crime Act, a handgun, two imitation firearms and a Porsche.