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Trident Risks Damaging Community Relations Warns Former Chair

Friday 8th February 2013

Scotland Yard is being accused of complacency in its approach to tackling gun crime and gangs after announcing changes to part of its Trident unit.

Trident has focussed on gun crime and murders within the black community since it was formed in 1998 - taking on additional responsibilities including leading the Met's response to gang-related crime and investigating all shootings in the capital.

It works to build relationships with communities most affected by the problem, mainly through the Trident Independent Advisory Group (IAG).

Trident IAG was officially launched in February 2012 to provide 'a critical friend in a time of need' but now changes are being made - supposedly to make it more representative of the communities it serves.

The new Trident IAG will feature community members nominated from each of the 18 Ending Gang and Youth Violence (EGYV) boroughs in London, as well as representatives of young people, including from the Safer London Foundation 'Young Ambassador' forum.

Representatives from the St Giles Trust, the Princes Trust and various youth, faith and community groups from across the capital will also make up the group.

It's hoped the changes will improve 'dwindling' attendance rated but co founder and former Chair of the Trident IAG Claudia Webbe has told LBC 97.3 she believes replacing the existing group that has worked in the community for more than a decade will damage links with the communities that set it up.

"They haven't developed the necessary trust and convidence with young people and aren't seeing young people coming forward in the same numbers. The successes they highlight are over decades of work in terms of the change and also in terms of communities on the ground working hard."

"The police are becoming therefore complacent in their approach and seeking to rid itself of the independent robust challenge that it's had over the years is a mistake."