Harrow learns from top Professor in fight against gang culture

Andrew Whittaker

Harrow Council this week hosted London’s leading expert in gangs, Professor Andrew Whittaker, in a talk at the Civic Centre.

Harrow Council this week hosted London’s leading expert in gangs, Professor Andrew Whittaker, in a talk at the Civic Centre, with a host of diverse community groups dealing with youth violence, council leaders, the police and other partner agencies in the borough.

Professor Whittaker shot to fame last July when his pioneering report, From Postcodes to Profits, hit the headlines nationwide. The report tracks the evolution of London gang culture, as it becomes more profit-oriented and ruthless. The London South Bank University academic was joined by colleague Tirion Havard, who specialises in domestic violence and spoke about the role of girls in gangs.

The Harrow authorities will use their learning from Professor Whittaker to improve and increase the effectiveness of their work with young people in Harrow and the fight back against gang culture that is pervading inner and outer London.

Professor Whittaker said:

“Harrow Council have been extremely bold in asking me to talk about my report and they are the first council to invite me to talk about my findings, to better understand examples of best practice and today’s gangs landscape. Like most London boroughs, Harrow have been affected by the issues of gangs, so it’s great to have a broad audience from in and around the borough, as part of the audience.”

Krishna Suresh, Lead Member for Community Safety said:

“Harrow is one of the safest boroughs in London but even we are feeling the effects of London’s gang and drug culture. Residents have told us that crime and community safety is their greatest concern and we are keen to strive ahead to get to grips with the wider context of how gangs operate. As always, we want to ensure a safer, better Harrow for everyone.”

Following the visit to Harrow, Professor Andrew Whittaker will be speaking at Kings College for a seminar series that they run for senior local authority staff and researchers about his report and its findings.

You can read more about the report and the findings here.

 

Notes:

Originally commissioned by Waltham Forest Council in 2017, the authors of the report found that gang behaviour had changed drastically from ten years ago to modern times. The research including speaking to current and former gang members and practitioners to understand the behaviour, make-up and purpose of gangs so that Waltham Forest Council and its partners could build further on services and interventions already in place.