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Bullet points of anti-gun fightback

Exclusive by Lester Holloway
7/3/2007

TONY BLAIR’S action plan to tackle gun crime will focus on stopping illegal guns entering Britain.

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Tons of guns: the supply of many guns are linked to international gangs.

Tony Blair hosted a gun crime summit last month after a spate of fatal shootings hit the headlines, including two 15-year-olds shot in their homes.

Blink has learnt the government response is now taking shape with a three-pronged shake-up of policing strategy, a new sentencing regime, and preventative work.

Home Secretary John Reid met with community leaders yesterday to fine-tune the governments’ plan anti-gun drive.

The new Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) will spearhead the drive to break up the supply of illegal weapons.

converted

This follows the trial of Andrius Rauba in the former Soviet state of Lithuania who is accused of converting and smuggling thousands of deadly firearms, complete with silencers and ammunition, to areas like Peckham and Moss Side.

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Too young to die: but many youth have fatalistic attitude to life.

Four other Lithuanians and a British citizen were convicted in Britain last year following a Scotland Yard operation.

It is understood SOCA favour the approach adopted by the United States, of multi-agency taskforces and more pro-active investigations into gun-running.

Lee Jasper, the chair of Operation Trident’s independent advisory group, argued for more attention on the manufacture, supply and sale of weapons.

Cindy Butts, vice-chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority, is also believed to be concerned about supply.

rival

Cheryl Sealey, who works with victims of gun crime and their families, recently led a picket of shops in south London which sell easily-converted handguns.

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Cheryl Sealey: wants bus rides to be free from fear

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) are believed to want more powers for customs officials, increased use of witness protection.

Community leaders have reported that some local authorities are not co-operating fully with the witness mobility scheme.

ACPO have also suggested community-led mediation initiatives as a way forward.

Blink previously reported on a groundbreaking mediation scheme in Brixton, south London, aimed at defusing tensions between rival gangs.

Reid hopes to introduce new laws cracking down on people who store weapons and loan them out for hits. Ministers are also considering extending anti-gun legislation to under 18s.

deterrent

Pastor Nims Obunge told Blair’s gun crime that youth as young as 14 were getting caught up in a spiral of violence, but warned that prisons do not work as a deterrent.

An “exit strategy” from a life of crime was needed, including parenting schemes and support for community-led initiatives.

There is also growing concern that lowering the age may have the unintended effect of even younger children being forced to look after and deliver weapons.

Sealey raised the importance of stopping attacks on buses. At present there are delays accessing CCTV footage, but Reid has said he would like to increase the effectiveness of the cameras to make bus journeys safe.

The Home Office is considering new laws tackling gangs, which could include police powers to break up gatherings of youngsters who are seen as threatening.

Ministers want to extend the use of intercept evidence, such as wire-tapping, to increase convictions and prevent shootings happening.

Following the Metropolitan Police’s knife amnesty, called Operation Blunt, there are also moves to tighten laws on carrying blades.

Education Secretary Alan Johnson is keen to pump an extra £680m into after-school projects to reduce opportunities for youths to get sucked into crime.

Johnson wants all schools to provide new parenting support and an extended network of post-school bell activities by 2010.
Some experts believe the Aylesbury estate, in Southwark, provides a model for extra-curricular programmes involving sport.

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Resources:

pdf Leaflet: Police DNA Database

Race and the Criminal Justice System 2005: Report and Overview

pdf Making the new police complaints system work better: IPCC Statutory Guidance

pdf Stop and search: A Community Evaluation of Recommendation 61 in the London Borough of Hackney

pdf Statement from the De Menezes family lawyer

Shoot to Kill Who?

pdf Statistics on Race and the Criminal Justice System – 2004

pdf Ethnicity, victimisation and worry about crime

pdf The views of the public on the phased implementation of recording police stops In response to recommendation 61 of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry (2.7.04)

pdf An evaluation of the phased implementation of the recording of police stops In response to recommendation 61 of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry (2.7.04)

pdf Statistics on Race and the Criminal Justice System – 2003

pdf CRE interim report on the Formal Investigation of the Police Service in England and Wales

Transcript from the BBC’s ‘Secret Policeman’ Programme

Stop and Search: know your rights

Stop and Search Resources

Black youth and street crime

Street Robbery: Fact sheet

Links:

The Robert Levy Foundation

Stop and Search

Independent Police Complaints Commission Information Leaflets

Metropolitan Police Authority

Inquest

Terrorism Act 2000

National Black Police Association UK

black and minority ethnic cracking crime project (BME CCP)

UNITE TO PROTECT OUR RIGHTS: sign the statement against the erosion of civil liberties and human rights by new anti-terrorism proposals A Black Manifesto No 2 ID FREE FAROUQ PDP ASSOCIATES Power to the People

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