Violent crime in Wellingborough linked to gangs and drug turf wars

The police are appealing for information to the shocking incidents

A number of violent crimes involving guns and knives in Wellingborough are being linked to gang activity by police.

Superintendent Dennis Murray, the police leader for the north of the county, said: "There have been a number of very concerning incidents in Wellingborough over the past month and today (Friday, October 2), I would like to provide reassurance to local residents that the police are taking these issues very seriously."

Speaking to the Northants Telegraph, Supt Murray said the incidents are being linked to gangs, in particular a Wellingborough group called Tru Grang, and drug turf disputes.

Superintendent Murray is appealing for the public's help in tackling gang violence in Wellingborough

He said: "We believe these incidents are related to gang activity and whilst this is obviously very concerning, we do believe they are all isolated and that there is no wider risk to members of the public.

"I suspect this is a dispute between rival drug dealing gangs and we are appealing for information to fill the gaps on this."

The serious incidents have all occurred in the past few weeks and involve knives and guns.

The first incident happened on Thursday, September 17 when there was a firearm incident at an address in Shelley Road on the Queensway estate at about 11pm and then another at Gannet Lane on the Hemmingwell estate just after midnight.

Supt Murray said the force is committed to dismantling gangs operating in Wellingborough

No-one was injured in either of these events, but police found gunshot damage to the front door of a property. Five people aged 16, 17, 20, 20, and 35 have been arrested in connection with the incidents and have been released on bail pending further enquiries.

The next incident happened on Wednesday, September 23, when a small group of males were spotted in Jubilee Crescent. One male was spotted with a knife and one had a gun.

Supt Murray said no-one was injured in this incident and three people aged 16, 20 and 47 were arrested and released on bail pending further enquiries.

The final incident happened this week on Wednesday, September 30, when three people were stabbed in the Priory Road and Mannock Road area after an altercation.

Supt Murray said: "Thankfully, none of the injuries were life-threatening. Forensic teams have been working to recover evidence and house-to-house enquiries and reassurance patrols have been taking place in the area.

"We are not linking this incident to the firearms incidents previously mentioned."

Police have been conducting weapons sweeps to try and locate the knives and guns being used and Supt Murray said so far a machete and an axe have been recovered.

So far, police do not know where the guns are coming from but Supt Murray said: "We are very, very keen to take these guns off the streets."

Supt Murray appealed to the public to come forward with any information about people behaving suspiciously in certain areas or if they know where weapons are coming from.

Police are also appealing for any information regarding gang crime in Wellingborough, including CCTV or dashcam footage.

However, Supt Murray is aware the public might be concerned about coming forward, especially after no-one called police after the firearms incident on Shelley Road until 12 hours later.

Supt Murray said: "I understand it's a big ask and it's a hard thing to come forward and give information.

"You can give evidence in confidence and you may be thinking, if I give information I may have to attend court, but there are a number of things we can do to protect identity."

For those worried about people being groomed or sucked into gang culture, Supt Murray said they should get in touch with police and the force has a violence reduction team that can help.

Supt Murray also said: "If there is anyone who wants to get out of a gang, contact us and we can help them to break out of this cycle.

"It depends on what they have done as to what happens next. Serious violence we would have to look at that and clearly them coming forward would be in their favour but I cannot ignore criminality.

"If they were intent on breaking out, we will help them every step of the way."

Supt Murray said he believed there were cycles of recruitment in gangs and once the top layers are convicted, a younger set takes over.

He added: "It's never too late to make a positive choice away from crime. Please get in touch if you're worried about someone."

As part of the force's commitment to tackling gang crime in Wellingborough, Supt Murray said police had executed over 100 warrants over the county since the beginning of July and he said enforcement activity will not cease.

Supt Murray said: "For anyone intent on committing violent crime, we are coming for you.

"We may not get you today or tomorrow, but we will get you.

"This enforcement activity will not cease and we remain absolutely committed to pursuing the people respondible for crime in your area.

"We are now appealing to you, the public, to help us investigate these incidents and tackle the scourge of gang-related crime in your area.

"If you have any information about any of these incidents, or any pertinent CCTV or dashcam footage, please contact us.

"You can call 101 or speak to Crimestoppers anonymouslt on 0800 555111. If you do not want to speak to anyone, use our online reporting form on the Northants Police website.

"We do not need to know who you are, just what you know. Please help us."

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