Gang members 'renounce violence after court call-in'
Wood Green Crown Court was the setting for the sessions
Some 15 gang members admonished in court about their criminal lifestyles have pledged to change their behaviour, a local council has claimed.
The youths were part of a gang "call-in" arranged at Wood Green Crown Court by Enfield Council and police.
Police, judges, ex-gang members, community leaders, surgeons and the parents of murder victims challenged them about their actions.
Just under half of the 40 participants so far have now vowed to change.
They agreed to sign up for intensive supervision and help in turning their lives around.
“The challenge now is to give the right support” William GrahamEx-police officer
Enfield Council's cabinet member for community safety, Councillor Christine Hamilton, said: "This is a fantastic result because it shows we are getting through and making them understand that unless they get help they are likely to end up in prison or dead.
"We're not giving up on these young people and we want them to be able to get some qualifications and a job and make a positive contribution to our community.
"We'll do whatever it takes to help them stop behaving in a criminal or anti-social manner, preferably by helping them - if they don't want to they'll end up in prison."
The call in scheme was pioneered in the US and then tried in Glasgow.
It is the first time in England that the approach has been taken.
The events were partly organised by William Graham, who worked for Strathclyde Police on the Glasgow sessions.
He said: "The call-in tells these young people that if you remain in a gang you will end up in prison or dead - but as well as providing a stark warning it also offers a way out to those who want it.
"The challenge now is to give the right support to the young people who want it to make sure they can turn their lives around."