Enfield records most youth violence victims in London

Met Police recorded 321 victims of serious youth violence in the borough during 2021, reports Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter

Enfield recorded the highest number of victims of serious youth violence in London during the year to January, according to the latest Metropolitan Police data.

The figures show there were 321 victims of serious youth violence in the borough during the twelve-month period – ten more than during the previous year.

The 3.2% rise in serious youth violence victims was higher than the average increase across London of 0.4%. Croydon recorded the second-highest number of serious youth violence victims, with 309.

Enfield has the fourth-largest youth population in London, with young people aged between one and 19 making up 26% of the borough. This means there were four serious youth violence victims per 1,000 young people in the year to January.

The figures were set out in a report to Enfield Council’s safer neighbourhood board, which revealed some crime levels across the capital appear to be returning to numbers last seen before the Covid-19 pandemic. Total notifiable offences in Enfield were up by 4.4% in the year ending January 2022, which was slightly below the London average increase of 5.2%.

Theft or taking of a motor vehicle saw the highest increase in Enfield, climbing by more than a third compared to the previous year, to 1,732 incidents. Sexual offences increased by 27.8% to 856, with a 27.9% rise in the number of rape offences bringing the total to 335.

In contrast, gun crime offences fell by a third, anti-social behaviour calls were down by 37.8% and robbery of personal property offences dropped by 11.7%.

Detective Superintendent Marco Bardetti, from the Metropolitan Police’s north area command unit, said officers had sought to counter the reported crime rise with a “refreshed and renewed crime reduction strategy for the new year” involving “smart deployment of police officers, renewed working arrangements with the Enfield local authority partners, and the deployment of additional police officers to Enfield”.

He added: “The smart deployment of officers has included close work between the dedicated schools officers and ward officers in Enfield working in joint initiatives with the criminal investigation department, who investigate reported crime. This has led to the arrest and charge of offenders […] and their prosecution through the judicial system.

“The local authority and the police continue to work in very close collaboration, which includes a joint strategy overseen by the north area violence reduction group.

“The territorial support group (TSG) has provided over 50 police officers on some days to patrol some of our crime hotspots, which has in turn led to a reduction in crime and serious high-harm offending. The TSG has also provided an increased opportunity to engage with and reassure the public.

“These actions have resulted in the arrest of 31 persons for possession of offensive weapons, namely bladed articles. TSG has been responsible for an additional 282 arrests (as of 6th April) alone. These arrests include 72 arrests of persons who were wanted for a variety of violent offences in Enfield.

“The residents of and visitors to the borough of Enfield deserve a safe and peaceful life. It is our role, in conjunction with our partners at Enfield local authority, Neighbourhood Watch, residents’ associations and other voluntary groups to deliver this reassurance.”