Gangs

Your choice: choose life, not gangs

We know that some people in Westminster are concerned about gangs and serious youth violence, so we are doing something about it.

Westminster’s Integrated Gangs Unit (IGU) carries out a programme of work known as ‘Your Choice’. Through early intervention, quick time information sharing and promoting personal responsibility, the programme allows young people to make a real choice: to take up the services on offer and become upstanding members of our community, or face a range of enforcement options.

We want Westminster's young people to be safe, alive and out of prison.

Who we are

The IGU is a multi-agency unit aiming to reduce serious youth violence in the borough. We consist of employees from Westminster council, the Metropolitan Police, the Probation Service and St Giles Trust as well as a mental health nurse and employment coach working together to support young people aged 10 to 24 who are involved in group violence or on the periphery of gangs.

The team also works with neighbouring boroughs to tackle cross border gang violence. 

Our aim

The IGU aims to identify and work with vulnerable and exploited young people involved in violence to:

  • improve their life choices and social integration
  • reduce associations with gangs
  • reduce incidences of serious youth violence

What we do

The Your Choice programme includes:

  • one-to-one support to exit gangs and stop offending
  • help to get into employment
  • support for young people with physical or mental health needs
  • preventative work alongside youth projects and schools to prevent younger children getting into gangs
  • support through family coaches for families affected by gangs
  • specialist workers to support and work with young women affected by gangs
  • a range of enforcement options to disrupt those who choose to persist in a life of crime
  • mediation to soothe conflict between groups and gangs

Know the signs and how to prevent it

As a parent or guardian, there are things you can do to help prevent your child from getting involved in gangs and violence, as well as things you can look out for to identify if they are already involved, or at risk of becoming involved.

Download our advice booklet​ Gangs: Advice for Parents (PDF, 1.18 MB). 

For more information, please email integratedgangsunit@westminster.gov.uk.


Last updated: 22 February 2017
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