Published: 08 October 2010
by JAMIE WELHAM
POLICE are investigating a suspected gang-related kidnapping after a 13-year-old boy claimed he was bundled into a car and held for 24 hours before being “pistol-whipped” with a handgun.
Detectives have also confirmed they are looking into claims that a £4,000 ransom was paid to release the boy in the Harrow Road on Tuesday.
A source close to the investigation says the alleged incident is likely to be have been caused by a bitter turf war being waged between “postcode” gangs on the South Kilburn estate and the Mozart Estate in Queen’s Park.
It is believed the boy was held captive by members of the SMG Blood gang, based on the Mozart.
A Met Police spokeswoman said: “We can confirm we are investigating allegations of kidnap and assault on a 13-year-old boy. The allegation was received from a 3rd party on Tuesday, October 5. The victim alleges he was taken from Kilburn Square on Monday, October 4 and later dropped off in the Harrow Road.
“With regards as to whether the ransom was paid it is too early to speculate. With regards a handgun, the victim alleges one of the men was armed. With regards the victim being held captive for 24 hours, one of the lines of enquiry is how long the boy was detained.”
It is believed the victim admitted himself to hospital with head wounds on Tuesday afternoon. It is also understood he is not complying with police.
The Labour MP for Westminster North, Karen Buck, said she was “extremely distressed” by the allegation.
Ms Buck added: “If this is true it is a matter of grave, grave concern. It is like something out of the Wild West. Tensions between young people in South Kilburn and people around the Mozart appear to have led to one of the gravest incidents I’ve come across.
“We have young people and parents desperate to know that youths are safe on our streets.
“That requires the police, the local authorities, Brent and Westminster, and youth groups to have a credible plan to bring down tensions. At the moment I don’t feel they are taking youth violence seriously enough.”
The area around the Mozart and Harrow Road has been plagued by violence since the murder of 22-year-old electrician Daniel Smith in what police believe was a case of mistaken identity in May. There have been numerous brawls and firearms incidents – including one in which Ms Buck was caught in the crossfire of a shooting in August.
Last month it was revealed in a leaked document that police were considering launching a radical initiative imported from the US, called Boston Operation Ceasefire, to break the rule of gangs in the area.
Westminster Social Services are monitoring 17 children because of the risk of being recruited to gangs. It is not known if any have been placed on the child protection register.