Six men served with gang injunctions

Mick Ferris
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Six men have been made the subject of gang injunctions as part of ongoing efforts to curb drug dealing, violence and anti-social behaviour linked to three gangs.

The interim injunctions have been made against members of the Gutless Gang, which is based in Rayleigh.

It means they are banned from associating with other known gang members, both in their own gang and in rival groups, and cannot enter parts of Leigh, Southend and Rayleigh, such as Leigh Library Gardens, Old Leigh, Chalkwell Park, Southend High Street, Warrior Square, The Forum, Grove Park and Rayleigh High Street.

These injunctions aim to reduce their criminal behaviour, protect the community, and steer them away from gangs to make positive changes to their lives.

Anyone caught breaching the conditions faces being arrested and officers are rigorously enforcing the injunctions through regular patrols.

Similar court orders were made against five boys from the Leigh Lot and ten boys from O Block earlier this year.

Taking into account the six new orders, injunctions have now been secured against 20 individuals.

The latest injunctions were granted at Chelmsford County Court on September 14. They have now been served to each of the men, who are:

  • Levi Bellfield, 20, of no fixed address
  • Harvie Butt (also known as Harvie Lee), 19, of Down Hall Road, Rayleigh
  • Luke Collins-Walker, 24, of no fixed address
  • Louis Dawkins, 20, of Lodge Close, Rayleigh
  • Harry Sampson, 19, of Highfield Gardens, Westcliff; and
  • Flynn Symonds, 32, of no fixed address 

The injunctions against the six men last until September 14, 2023. An application to extend them beyond that date will be considered.

Violence involving the Gutless Gang, Leigh Lot and O Block has mainly been borne out of rivalry with each other and has escalated in the last year.

Poice are also investigating possible links between these gangs and two ongoing murder investigations, and a violent incident in which a man died and another suffered life-changing injuries.

Chief Superintendent Simon Anslow, local policing commander for Southend and Rayleigh, said: “These gangs have been linked to numerous incidents of senseless violence, resulting in two men needlessly losing their lives.

“They have also been selling drugs, exploiting and recruiting young people into their criminal fold, and causing misery for innocent members of the public.

“We have taken consistent, proactive enforcement action against them and will not let this small number of individuals blight our communities.

“Information from the community and the organisations we work with in Southend and Rayleigh has been crucial for our investigations and I am really grateful for their ongoing support, which has helped us secure these injunctions.”

The injunction applications made against all 20 individuals were made by Operation Raptor South, which is part of the Serious Violence Unit.

Detective Superintendent Lewis Basford, of the serious violence unit, said: “These gangs think they’re above the law but they aren’t and collectively, this is the largest number of individuals that we have secured injunctions against so far.

“The stringent conditions listed in the court orders prevent them associating with each other, carrying weapons, and dealing drugs, making it harder for them to operate.

“We’re determined to do everything we can to dismantle these gangs and others like them, and injunctions are just one of the tactics we use to do this.

“Young people join these gangs because they think they offer friendship, status and money.

“None of this is true but older members groom, exploit and control them, and once inside the group, they can find it difficult to get out.

“We work closely with a number of organisations and charities to help people get out of gangs and find a better path in life.

“I’d urge anyone who is in this in situation, or knows someone who is, to get in touch so we can help.”

If you see any of these individuals named and pictured breaching their gang injunctions, have any information about drugs or violent crime, or are concerned someone is being exploited by gangs, you can contact police on https://www.essex.police.uk where you can use the ‘Live Chat’ button to speak to an online operator between 7am-11pm or submit an online report. Alternatively, you can call 101.

Information can also be given to independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or https://crimestoppers-uk.org

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: mickferris@yellowad.co.uk