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Magistrates hand down first youth injunction for anti-social behaviour in Islington

Islington Council has used new legal powers to keep a youth away from a neighbourhood where he is in danger of falling into a criminal lifestyle.

The council’s anti-social behaviour housing team and youth offending team, working closely with the Mildmay safer neighbourhood policing team, convinced a magistrate to impose Islington’s first youth injunction on a 16-year-old gang member.

The youth is suspected of being involved in knife crime and associates with a group involved in stabbings, both as victims and perpetrators. He has been caught with a knife and arrested a number of times, but never charged.

Evidence was collected on the teenager and presented at Highbury Youth Court, where the order was made.

Under powers granted by the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, the youth has been banned from the majority of the Mildmay ward in north-east Islington for a year, starting on September 1.

The injunction allows police to arrest the youth if he is caught within the specified area, which includes the Mayville and Kerridge Court estates, and put before a magistrate, who will decide on the appropriate course of action.

This could include changes to the supervision order already in place as part of the injunction, or a period of detention in a young offenders’ institution.

Cllr Paul Convery, executive member for community safety, said: “This action has been taken in a bid to remove this youth from a life of criminality before it is too late.

“Islington Council has tried everything to help this young man turn himself around but he has refused to do the right thing.

"He is at serious risk of committing a violent crime or being a victim. It is essential we use every power we have to remove him from that risk.

“We're now using the new legislation to direct those committing crime or anti-social behaviour – and those on the fringes of it – away from that lifestyle, to safeguard both themselves and others.

“We are already pursuing injunctions against other young people whose lives could be turned around with a combination of this measure and others at our disposal.

“Alongside the injunction, we continue to offer help and support to this young man to seize the opportunity to turn his life around."

The court order is made under civil legislation rather than the criminal justice system, but breaching the order is a criminal offence.

Youth injunctions are intended as a way of directing young people away from criminality at an early stage, both for their own protection and for the benefit of wider society.