Gang violence plagues Clapham’s nightlife

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Gang crime is increasingly affecting revellers in Clapham, a council has been warned.

Local businesses from Clapham High Street told a Lambeth Council meeting that gang violence is reaching unprecedented levels.

Gangsters have stabbed, mugged and even kidnapped partygoers.

One person was chased down the street by a knife-wielding gangster.

Wardens employed by the Clapham Business Improvement District (BID) to deal with antisocial behaviour on weekends, have now become preoccupied with gangs in the local area.

Bernard Collier, from business group Vauxhall One said he looked back on pre-pandemic violence as "halcyon days", the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

Mr Collier said that “organised, violent criminals” were targeting the area, adding: “If you stop someone mugging you, you will be pounced on by about 16 different people and they will beat you until you’re unconscious. Last weekend that happened to somebody."

Jeremy Keates, a business group member, said he was struggling to retain security staff due to rising gang violence.

He added that wardens have had their body-worn cameras ripped off and threatened if they contacted the police.

Mr Keates said: “We’ve had a really challenging last six months.

“We’ve had a warden service, that is principally designed to deal with low-level antisocial behaviour as a result of intoxication, in more recent months become a gang-management service on the high street.”

He added that when the weekend patrols were suspended between October and November, one person was stabbed to death and a woman was kidnapped.

Mr Keates went further to say that Clapham BID wardens attended 661 incidents in the last 12 months.