Islington police chief ‘won’t allow gangs to get a foothold’

07:03 21 October 2012

Cllr Paul Convery

Cllr Paul Convery


Two of Islington’s most senior crime-fighting figures have spoken out about the borough’s growing gang problem, some of whom “act like they are in the Godfather”.

Last week Islington’s borough commander Det Chf Sup Gerry Campbell sent an email to the borough’s politicians saying he feared a gang struggle in the light of recent arrests.

Now he has spoken to the Gazette explaining that is a worst case scenario it’s his duty to prepare for.

He said: “Obviously that is my concern, but what I have to do is plan for what is happening next, to look at possible risks in the future. I will do all I can to keep people safe. I have an absolute commitment to support total policing and a total war on crime.

“To support that, I want people to help us. If people are aware of violence in any form, come forward with information.”

In terms of the gang situation, he said: “The gang activity in Islington is different to other parts of London. The level of organised crime is just not the same.

“However, our job is preventing further gang activity and just because we have knife crime down 30 per cent and firearms crime down 35.7 per cent, we can’t be complacent.

“What I can say is our enforcement is working extremely well. We are working to identify gang members, as well as young boys and girls who can be exposed to criminal groups.

“Through peer pressure a young person can end up in a group where someone has a knife and ends up stabbing someone. Say they are killed, people’s lives and prospects could be ruined for what is tantamount to 30 seconds of sheer stupidity.”

He went on to describe a successful recent operation that saw members of the notorious EC, or Easy Cash, gang jailed for 20 years.

But he refused to be drawn on whether this meant one criminal group off the radar.

“I am not giving kudos to any particular gang or individual,” he said. “But we must not allow gang members to get a foot-hold wherever it is in the borough.’’

Meanwhile Cllr Paul Convery, Islington council’s executive member for community safety, was disparaging about the borough’s so called gangsters.

He said: “It’s like these kids have been reading Mario Puzo [author of The Godfather]. It’s pathetic. These are scruffy youths from inner London, they are not the Mafia. They think honour and respect are achieved by popping people.

“But the problem has been growing without really being confronted – it should have been tackled over the last five or six years.

“Some of these youths are moving up the ladder. Ten years ago these were little scallies delivering wraps of dope. Now they are walking around with crack and weapons, that’s worrying.”

Latest Islington News Stories


Twenty-eight young people were sexually exploited in Islington last year. The figures were presented to Islington Council’s health and wellbeing board yesterday afternoon.


A 63-year-old newsagent scared off two soldiers who were allegedly trying to rob her at gunpoint.


The inmate who was stabbed to death at Pentonville Prison has been named as 21-year-old father Jamal Mahmoud.


The Gazette hunts high and low each week to bring you news of the most interesting and unusual new businesses in Islington. This week we speak to a music teacher who’s taking a different approach.


It may not be the most attractive building, but 55-61 Brewery Road in Holloway is still home to 300 worshippers at York Way Masjid. With demolition on the cards, director Mukhtar Osman asks James Morris: ‘Where else is there?’

Yesterday, 11:58

A Holloway man has been jailed for nine-and-a-half years for possession of a sawn-off shotgun.

Yesterday, 09:25

Two prisoners have been arrested after an inmate was stabbed to death at Pentonville Prison yesterday.

Yesterday, 08:39

A stabbing in Newington Green left a teenage boy in hospital late last night.

Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news


Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more. Boots is the number one choice when it comes to purchasing daily essentials.

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now