Evicted for a family member's crime

A London borough is trialling a new scheme to cut down on crime amongst gangs in the English capital by threatening the families of criminals with eviction. But critics say the initiative punishes the innocent.

Lydia Morrish
Lydia Morrish NewsMavens, United Kingdom
Evicted for a family member's crime - NewsMavens
Knives. Eastnews.pl

Why this story matters:

"In essence, the innocent could be punished for the actions of the guilty."

A new scheme is being trialed by Islington Council in North London to combat a rise in knife crime. But, unlike traditional forms of punishment, the new initiative threatens to evict the families of gang members for the crimes committed by their relatives.

This form of "kin punishment" comes on the back of spiralling media reports that knife crime in the capital is on the rise. Knife crime has taken the lives of at least 60 people in the UK capital so far this year.

Under the policy, families of gang members who are convicted of crimes may be evicted. But critics say this is unfair, consists of "gesture politics" and punishes innocent people for crimes they did not commit.

The policy is also seen as problematic because it places eviction in the context of the penal code instead of housing management.

If successful, the plan is to make the eviction scheme nationwide.

Details from the story:

  • Run by the Integrated Gangs Team (IGT), a scheme being trialed by Islington Council, along with the Metropolitan Police, will allow authorities to threaten families with eviction from their council housing homes simply for being related to gang members convicted of crimes.
  • According to officials, this is part of an attempt to tackle the rise in knife crime that has escalated. Multiple media reports state that knife crime has taken the lives of at least 60 people in the UK capital so far this year.
  • The scheme is backed by £2 million ($2.6m) in council funding running into 2020.
  • IGT uses “youth services working directly with police, probation, Job Centre Plus, an NHS psychologist and voluntary organizations,” Islington Council told WikiTribune in a statement.
inbox_large_illu Created with Sketch.
Tired of the news media’s prevailing male perspective? We are too.

Get our newsletters composed exclusively by female journalists from all over Europe.


Project #Femfacts co-financed by European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology as part of the Pilot Project – Media Literacy For All

The information and views set out on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

NewsMavens is a media start-up within Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's largest liberal broadsheet published by Agora S.A. NewsMavens is currently financed by Gazeta Wyborcza and Google DNI Fund.
Is something happening in your country that Newsmavens should cover?
Zuzanna Ziomecka
Zuzanna Ziomecka EDITOR IN CHIEF
Lea Berriault-Jauvin
Lea Berriault Managing Editor
Jessica Sirotin
Jessica Sirotin EDITOR
Ada Petriczko
Ada Petriczko EDITOR
Gazeta Wyborcza, Agora SA Czerska 8/10 00-732, Warsaw Poland
The e-mail addresses provided above are not intended for recruitment purposes. Messages concerning recruitment will be deleted immediately. Your personal data provided as part of your correspondence with Zuzanna,Lea, Jessica and Ada will be processed for the purpose of resolving the issue you contacted us about. The data provided in your email is controlled by Agora S.A. with its registered office in Warsaw Czerska 8/10 Street (00-732). You can find more information about the processing and protection of your personal data at https://newsmavens.com/transparency-policy