Gang injunctions secured against 16 people for Thurrock

Police have secured gang injunctions against 16 people, including eight teenagers, as part of their efforts to disrupt and dismantle gangs in Thurrock.

In October last year, police connected a number of violent incidents in the area to gang violence.

Those incidents have been dealt with criminally and prosecutions and convictions have been secured in connection with those investigations.

Following ongoing work,16 Gang Injunction Orders have been obtained.

These orders apply to eight adults:

  • Marcel Zawolski, 22, of Northfleet, Gravesend, in Kent.
  • Ross Ward, 21, of Godman Road, Grays.
  • Hezron Hylton, 22, of Rapier Close, Purfleet.
  • Sean Spark, 28, of London Road, Grays.
  • Ayomide Olarbigbe, 27, of Biggin Lane, Chadwell St Mary.
  • Shodiq Fasai, 19, of High Street, Dover, in Kent
  • Opetunde Tibetan, 18, of Argent Street, Grays
  • Jermaine Munjoma, 20, of The Rundels, Benfleet.

The injunctions also apply to eight boys; three 15-year-olds, three 16-year-olds and two 17-year-old boys.

As a result of their ages, they cannot be named but their identities and the conditions attached to them have been disseminated to the local community policing team in Grays as well as to British Transport Police and key partners.

The injunctions carry stringent conditions which, if breached, can lead to the teenagers being arrested.

Among these conditions are:

  • Not to enter Grays High Street, Clarence Road, George Street, Morrisons Car Park, Orsett Road, Station Approach Road, Church Path, Crown Road including car park, The Mall and Grays Train Station unless accompanied by a parent, emergency worker or youth worker or for the purposes of a pre-arranged appointment.
  • Not to enter Seabrooke Rise, Grays Beach Park, Grays Sea Wall and Argent Street
  • Not to enter Lakeside shopping centre
  • Not to enter any railway station including the grounds and car parks of the railway station, unless in possession of or purchases immediately a valid ticket for travel and boards a train within 15 minutes of attending the railway station or alighting from a train having travelled to the station by train with a valid ticket for travel and immediately leaves the train station and car park.
  • Not to knowingly feature in, or make, any video or audio material which is threatening, abusive, insulting, incites violence, promotes criminal activity, shows weapons or makes reference to gang affiliations or tensions
  • Not to be in possession of any knife or bladed article irrespective of length of blade in a public place
  • Being in possession of drug paraphernalia used to sell, consume or manufacture controlled drugs. This does not include items used to smoke tobacco (including lighters, filters and rolling paper)
  • Being in possession of more than £100 in cash at any one time without documentary evidence (including electronic evidence)
  • On social media, knowingly and purposefully being friends with, engaging with or sending a message to any of 25 people specified in the order. This includes Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp.
  • Being in possession of more than 1 x Mobile Phone and 1 x Sim Card at any time or any Mobile Phone or Sim card that is not registered with the network provider with correct name and address details.
  • Owning, using or having with them any mobile telephone or telephone SIM card the phone number and IMEI number for which has not been disclosed to the Chief Constable of Essex Police or appropriate Police Force for the area in which they resides.
  • Willingly encouraging or assisting any other person to become involved in the supply of drugs or acts of violence. This includes the running of drugs or possessing a mobile phone for drug related activity.
  • The orders are in place until 11.59pm on 19 December 2023– and will be reviewed before then – and breaching any of the conditions carries the power of arrest.

While the injunctions have obvious enforcement sides, the application was made in order to safeguard the juveniles and prevent them from becoming victims of further exploitation.

Police work alongside key partners in the county, including local authorities and the Essex Violence and Vulnerability Unit in order to identify those at most risk of exploitation and offer them and their families help.

Detective Superintendent Gary Biddle, of our Serious Violence Unit, said:

“Our work to dismantle these gangs is absolutely vital, as they are so often linked to senseless violence and the exploitation of vulnerable young people.

“These gangs trade on the false promise of status, money and clothes for the young people they exploit.

“The reality is far less glamorous.

“Those engaged in drug dealing will be surrounded by a world of violence, misery and constant risk.

“These orders aim to not only prevent them from causing harm and nuisance to others, but also to steer them away from dangerous situations where they can come to harm, and to give them the opportunity to reflect on what direction they want their lives to go in.

“But enforcement alone will not solve these complex issues, which is why as a community we must all work together to show gang life doesn’t pay and there are many more positive alternatives.”