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BREAKING Kent Northamptonshire Queenborough

Operation Raptor teams were set up by Essex Police in our community in the North, South and West of the county to tackle drug and gang-related crime.

A member of a drug-dealing gang linked to a series of violent incidents and anti-social behaviour in Thurrock has today, Friday 25 September, been made the subject of a further interim gang injunction

Roland Douherty, the leader of the so-called C17 gang was made the subject of the interim order at Chelmsford County Court.

Douherty, along with ten other members of his gang, was originally made the subject of the tough gang injunction order back in 2017 following partnership work between Essex Police’s West Operation Raptor team, Thurrock Borough Council and brave members of the community.

Essex Police secured the original injunctions after the gang plagued Grays town centre, town park and beach areas, as well as Lakeside, dealing drugs in those areas and committing crime and disorder.

At the time, the court was told that the gang preyed on young children in the community, enticing them into the gang and then exploiting them by getting them to run drugs and carry cash from deals or knives.

As a result, 11 members of the gang were made the subject of the strict gang injunctions which banned them from large parts of Thurrock, from associating with each other and from making so-called ‘drill’ music videos, which have violent lyrics and perpetuate gang violence and rivalry.

The orders lasted for two years so, today, Essex Police successfully secured a further interim gang injunction against Douherty, 20, of Abersham Road, Dalston.

Under the terms of the order, he is banned from: associating with a list of people in public, unless with police authorisation or for court appearances; being friends with, associating with or sending messages to any member of this list on social media; entering Grays Town Park, Grays Town Centre, Lakeside shopping centre and retail park, Chafford Hundred and Grays railway stations, Seabrook Rise in Grays, Grays Beach Riverside Park and Dilkes Park, Broxburn Parade & Derwent Parade shopping and residential area in South Ockendon; featuring in, or making any video inciting violence or promoting criminal activity; being in a group of two or more in a public place where the group is behaving in a manner causing or likely to cause any person to feel intimidated or fear for their safety; possessing any type of firearm or imitation firearm; possessing any knife or bladed article in a public place; possessing controlled drugs or drug paraphernalia; possessing more than £100 in cash; running away from a police officer when requested to stop; owning, using or possessing any mobile phone or SIM card which has not been disclosed to the police; and failing to make any mobile phone, SIM card, PINs or passcodes available on request for inspection by the police.

If Douherty does not comply with these conditions, he faces fines, imprisonment and seizure of any assets.

Of the remaining gang members who were originally subject of the injunction, a number of the juveniles are no longer associating with the gang and have positively engaged with the Youth Offending Service. Several of the other adult members have moved away from the area and also cut ties with the gang.

Following today’s hearing, PC Jonathan Kemp, of the West Operation Raptor team, said: “In the last two years we have successfully reduced the harmful impact the C17 gang were having on the Grays and Thurrock area.

“A number of members of the gang who were subject to the original injunction have moved away or engaged positively with the Youth Offending Service.

“Douherty has, unfortunately, failed to learn the lessons of the last two years and, as such, will remain the subject of an interim injunction which will help us continue to stop him from causing harm and committing crime in the community.

“Over the past two years we have worked with our partners at Thurrock Council and with members of the community to ensure this gang were unable to continue dealing drugs, perpetrating violence and making life a misery for residents.

“We will continue to do all we can to ensure that we do whatever it takes, however long it takes, to stop them and others like them from committing crime on the streets of our county.”

Today’s hearing at Chelmsford County Court was adjourned and a hearing for a full gang injunction will be heard at a later date.

Operation Raptor teams were set up by Essex Police in the North, South and West of the county to tackle drug and gang-related crime.

If you have information about drug or gang-related crime in your community contact Essex Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.