Peterborough teenage gang member given court order to stop him causing misery to residents
An 18-year-old youth who is part of a gang which has caused misery to Peterborough residents has become the first person in the county to be given a new type of court order.
Billy Woodward, of Norwood Lane, was served the injunction order on Thursday (6 February) for his involvement with a group of youths who identify themselves as the ‘Paston Boys’.
He has now become the first person in the county to be given a full gang injunction.
PC Alice Ward, from the Neighbourhood Policing Team in Peterborough, said: “For the last two to three years the local community in Paston has suffered at the hands of this group. We have received report after report about anti-social behaviour, criminal damage, carrying of weapons and violence.
“Crimes have been raised and investigations carried out in an attempt to take action against the boys, however victims have often disengaged due to fear for their personal safety and that of their properties, and reprisals from the gang.”
Gang injunctions allow courts to place a range of prohibitions and requirements on the behaviour and activities of a person involved in gang-related violence. These conditions could include prohibiting someone from being in a particular place or requiring them to participate in rehabilitative activities.
PC Ward added: “We have been working tirelessly to get these injunctions in place for our local community. These boys have been causing so much distress to both residents and businesses, and have shown no respect for the law.
“Gang injunctions are a valuable tool in preventing gang-related violence alongside a range of other prevention, detection and enforcement measures. Hopefully this will be the first of more to come to help us tackle gang-related issues in our county.”
They aim to prevent serious violence from occurring, break down violent gang culture and engage gang members in positive activities to help them leave the gang.
Conditions of Woodward’s injunction forbid him:
From covering or obscuring his face by either wearing a face covering such as a balaclava or mask, or using an item of clothing to cover his face, for the purpose of concealing his identity or intimidating others
Entering Honeyhill Road, Paston
From approaching any student attending Honeyhill Learning Centre, Paston, or waiting outside the Honeyhill Learning Centre
From entering the Chadburn Centre, Paston
From being in the company of 12 other specified people in any public place
From causing harassment, alarm or distress to any person, including emergency service workers
From being in possession of any offensive weapon in a public place
From touching or using a motorcycle unless the motorcycle is owned by him and is properly insured and taxed
In the event of a breach, a power of arrest is attached to all conditions, and Woodward will be in contempt of court and may be sent to prison. The injunction will remain in place until 5 February, 2022.
Interim injunctions have been served on four other members of the ‘Paston Boys’, aged 14, 18 and two aged 17, imposing temporary conditions on them all.
Hearings to apply for full injunctions on the other four members are due to take place in the coming months.
More information about gang injunctions can be found online here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/injunctions-to-prevent-gang-related-violence.