'A dangerous menace': EIGHTEEN West Midlands 'gang members' named by police in UK's biggest blitz of its kind
These 18 alleged gang members were being hit with powerful injunctions today in what is believed to be the biggest move of its kind in the UK to tackle gun and drug crime.
The men, including one from Walsall and one from Wolverhampton, were branded 'dangerous and a menace to ordinary people' as they were banned from large parts of Birmingham and from associating with each other.
The men include Wolverhampton drug dealer Ishmail Lee, who claimed to be a mobile barber, but was actually running a drugs supply operation across the West Midlands
Lee, aged 29, from Leicester Street, Whitmore Reans, claimed benefits while dressing in designer clothes.
He was arrested in March last year and later jailed for 14 years. Police found thousands of pounds worth of designer gear, as well as £20,000 cash and cocaine worth £2,000.
Lee was convicted of two counts of conspiracy to supply cocaine and heroin following a trial. Even though he is in prison, the new order will restrict who he can receive visits and calls from.
Today's court orders, which were secured after more than 80 witnesses gave evidence at Birmingham Crown Court, even restrict the vehicles and mobile phones used by the men.
The suspected gangsters are also banned from making music videos promoting violence or crime.
WATCH as injunctions are served:
They face arrest if they breach the injunctions, and police today issued their mugshots as they appealed for anyone who sees the men associating with each other to call police.
They are banned from entering areas of Birmingham including the city centre, Handsworth, Newtown, Winson Green and Lozells for the next two years.
The move was triggered by a spate of around 20 gun crimes involving Birmingham gangs during the summer of 2015 and early 2016.
Det Sgt Ian Comfort, from West Midlands Police CID Prevent Team, said: "We secured interim injunctions to reduce the violence and ensure the community had on-going respite from the incidents.
"We also dealt swiftly with a number of subsequent breaches.
“This is relatively new legislation and we believe that securing final full injunctions on such a large number of gang members is a UK first.
"The injunctions are applied for in the civil court in addition to sentences handed out by the criminal court for offences.
"They are an additional measure to help control the offenders and keep the community safe."
"We have been working closely with Birmingham City Council and other agencies to secure these injunctions and we will continue to work with these men if they wish to turn their back on a gang lifestyle."
West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson, said: “I am delighted the authorities in our region have been able to come together to take this really tough action and disrupt these gangs from their criminal behaviour.
"These young men are dangerous and a menace to ordinary people. They must be stopped from behaving like thugs and terrorising hard working people.
"In the autumn, I will also publish a plan which will set out how we intend to tackle the problem of gangs in the West Midlands."
The men are:
- Ishmail Lee aged 29 from Wolverhampton
- Ashai Grey aged 23 from Walsall
- Naasir Francis aged 19 from Nechells
- Baboucar Huma aged 19 from Handsworth
- Akeen Ivy-Foster aged 20 from Springhill
- Ravelle Hutchinson aged 20 from Winson Green
- Tesfa Bernard-Wheeler aged 21 from Hockley
- Rayani Sutherland aged 21 from Aston
- Omarni Bernard-Sewell aged 21 from Selly Oak
- Lawrence Morgan aged 21 from Nechells
- Jerome Jones aged 21 from Erdington
- Jerome Christie aged 21 from Nechells
- Reial Phillips aged 21 from Winson Green
- Ushane Jeffers aged 23 from Newtown
- Kayne Robinson aged 23 from Springhill
- Jacob Brown aged 24 from Handsworth
- Cash Wallace aged 24 from Winson Green
- Isaac Duffus aged 28 from Erdington
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