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Police use emergency stop-and-search powers after Islington shootings

Spate of recent violence has included a 16-year-old being found with gunshot injuries in Barnsbury, and a group of men being shot at in Holloway

03 August, 2018 — By Samantha Booth

TWO teenagers were injured in shootings just hours apart in Islington last week, with police bringing in emergency stop-and-search powers to quell possible violence.

The Met Police’s Trident Command is investigating three shootings in just four days in the borough.

One shooting happened near Highbury Fields, and after other disruptive behaviour, some residents are avoiding walking near the park at night.

Two section 60 orders, which give police emergency stop-and-search powers, were enforced to “disrupt criminal activity”. One order on Wednesday this week covered the N1, N5 and N7 postcode areas bet­ween 4pm and 4am the following day because of “anticipated violence”.

Detective Superintendent Caroline Haines said: “We do not take these decisions lightly and we are aware that we need to explain and justify our actions; but we believe our overriding responsibility is the safety of our community.”

The sequence of violence has included:

• A group of men shot at in Warlters Road, Holloway, on July 22.

• A 16-year-old found with gunshot injuries in Muriel Street, Barnsbury, on July 25.

• Hours after the July 25 shooting, police were called to a fight and gunshots in Highbury Crescent and later found a 19-year-old man had been wounded.

The air ambulance taking off over Highbury on Tuesday. Credit: Emma Doherty

This week a man was found with a stab wound in Highbury New Park on Tuesday evening, bringing London’s Air Ambulance to Highbury Fields.

All of the victims are expected to recover, including the victim of this week’s knifing, whose injuries were described as “non-life-threatening”, while no arrests have been made in any of the cases.

According to residents, there has been mopeds racing around the fields, anti-social behaviour and groups barbecuing late into the evening.

The Town Hall announced earlier this year it has restricted barbecue usage to only one area but the official enforceable by-law does not come into force for several months. However, a temporary ban is in place across all Islington parks currently as recommended by the London Fire Brigade due to the fire hazard of dry grass.

One resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “Some people are so spooked they are getting taxis home from Highbury Corner station. People are really scared. It’s taken somewhere pleasant to somewhere that’s actually quite toxic.”

Green councillor Caroline Russell is calling for body-worn video cameras for park staff, adding: “Our streets and parks like Highbury Fields should be safe to enjoy without fear of getting caught up in violence.”

DS Haines said extra officers from the Violence Crime Task Force were on the borough and said “more local officers” were patrolling areas affected.

Council leader Richard Watts said he “welcomed” the police’s use of section 60 orders. He said: “Gun crime is not a common part of Islington life and as a council we will work with police and other partners to do everything we can to make sure young people are kept safe across Islington.”


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