An upcoming gang has been disbanded as a result of a new borough-wide scheme designed by the police and Ealing Council.
The Safe Space Project (SSP) is an initiative set up a few months ago aimed at deterring young people on the verge of gang crime and criminality.
It works by police inviting identified youths and their parents or guardians to a neutral place to discuss concerns, reveal evidence of gang activity and collectively find diversions including work placements, assistance in securing places at school or college or employment.
The Southall based gang Punjabi Bad Mundaz, meaning Punjabi Bad Men, has just been successfully dismantled through this method, with former members now focused on finding employment opportunities.
This gang had about 15 members, aged 14, 15 and 16, who publicised themselves on social media sites. The internet activity has now stopped.
DCI Sean Oxley at Acton Police Station said: “We show the youngsters stories and images from the Gazette as a deterrent. We show them people of a similar age who’ve ended up in hospital or in a police station, and say if you’re not careful you’re going to end up like them.
“We’ve worked with 25- 30 families so far. The parents don’t know what their kids are doing and are taken aback.
“We’re coaching them early at a pivotal moment before they get in trouble or offend.”
The teenagers, parents and police all sign an agreement for the child to desist from gang behaviour.
Ian Jenkins, Head of Youth Justice Service, Children and Adults at Ealing Council, said: “The Safe Space project was designed by the Ealing Youth Justice Service and local police, and is closely linked to the Safer Ealing Partnership.
“It is designed to support young people and their families and offer them an alternative to gang culture.
“Young people are then referred to our Youth and Connexions Service so that activities and interests they may enjoy can be identified.
“Any young people in Ealing that want to find out about available activities should visit: www.youngealing.co.uk.”