Published: 09:21, 15 November 2019
| Updated: 09:22, 15 November 2019
A gang member has been sent to prison for wearing a hoodie.
Talliq 'Zedz' Mwalim, from Gillingham, is a member of the so-called C17 gang in Thurrock who were made the subject of a tough gang injunction, banning them from wearing any hooded items of clothing - except in bad weather.
Under the terms of the court order, 19-year-old Mwalim and other specified C17 gang members are banned from large parts of Thurrock.
The injunction also prevents them from: associating with other members of the gang specified by the order, or congregating in a public place in a group of two or more where the group is behaving in a way likely to make a personal feel intimidated or afraid for their safety.
Despite the order, on August 17 Mwalim was caught wearing a hoodie and associating with fellow gang member Sahin 'SJ' Korta-Haupt, 19, who is also a member of the C17 gang and subject of the gang injunction, in Maidstone town centre.
At a hearing at Chelmsford County Court on Tuesday Mwalim of Junction Road, Gillingham, was jailed for 12 weeks for two breaches of the gang injunction.
Korta-Haupt, also of Junction Road, Gillingham has already been sentenced to 129 days in a young offender institution at an earlier hearing earlier this month after breaching the injunction by appearing in a rap video.
“We not only secured this tough gang injunction but we will continue to robustly police it and continue to put members of the C17 before the courts..." - Sgt Scott Fitzmaurice
Following the latest hearing, Sgt Scott Fitzmaurice of the West Operation Raptor team said: "Mwalim is the third member of the C17 gang that we have successfully put behind bars in recent months.
“This gang thought they could deal drugs and perpetrate violence on the streets of our borough.
“We not only secured this tough gang injunction but we will continue to robustly police it and continue to put members of the C17 before the courts.
“The streets of this community belong to this community. If people think they can perpetrate violence, deal drugs or exploit the vulnerable, they can’t, we will continue to seek out these people, put them before the courts, and continue protecting and serving the people of this county.”
A total of 11 members of the C17 gang have now been put before the court and handed down the tough restrictions.
Under the terms of the order gang members are banned from: entering Grays town centre, park, Lakeside and Grays Beach Riverside Park.
They are also banned from making drill videos, wearing hoodies or face coverings, associating with C17 members and, for some, being in the company of girls aged under 16. The gang members must also give Essex Police all details of their social media profiles.
The gang first came to the attention of the Operation Raptor team in May 2017 as they became heavily involved in drug dealing and violence.
The gang had been plaguing the town centre, town park and beach areas of Grays as well as Lakeside, dealing drugs in those areas and committing crime and disorder.
Evidence gathered by police, included detail of how the gang have preyed on young children in the community, enticing them into the gang and then exploiting them by getting them to run drugs, carry cash from deals or knives.
The younger members are also used to act as “spotters” or “distracters” to look out for police whilst others are carrying out deals.
The C17 are also known to target vulnerable drug users, using violence and intimidation to take over their homes for use as a drug dealing base -a practice known as ‘cuckooing’.
Violence around the gang is mainly borne out of rivalry with other gangs and drug lines. The violence and rivalry has played out in numerous so-called ‘drill’ music videos filmed by members of C17 which feature weapons and provocative language and gestures.
Drill is a type of rap music that originated in South Chicago in America. It features dark, violent lyrics and often used to perpetuate and even escalate gang disputes.
If you spot the C17 gang in areas of Thurrock which they are banned from or breaching any of the specified terms of the order, call Essex Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.