Police chief urges Barking and Dagenham gangs to leave life of crime

The Metropolitan Police gang squad has called on offenders to start with a clean slate and leave their life of crime behind.

Trident chief Det Chief Insp Dean Haydon made the appeal after figures revealed there were an estimated 250 active criminal gangs in London last year.

He said: “I have one important message for gang members. If you are willing to change your ways, then make a New Year’s resolution this year - leave your gang-related criminal lifestyle behind and direct your energies into something more positive.

“We work closely with boroughs and partner agencies and we will help you leave a gang.”

Barking and Dagenham Police revealed in the wake of the London riots that gangs members were not solely from disadvantaged backgrounds but also included high achievers and straight A pupils.